This is one of the most common questions that I'm asked. Is Draft Kings a Scam? The short answer is 'NO', absolutely not. The longer answer is 'MAYBE' depending on your definition of a scam. A lot of people tend to think their 'deposit bonus' policy is a scam because they did not read the fine print. For a while DraftKings was advertising a 100% deposit match up to $600 when you open a new account. For example, $100 deposit will receive a $100 bonus match for $200 total. However, the fine print clearly states that the bonus will be released in $1 increments for every 100 FPPs (Frequent Player Points) the player earns. The only way to get FPP points is to join contests on DraftKings. As I write this, a $20 contest gives you 80 FPPs, so it takes $25 to get 100 FPP. In other words, for every $25 you spend on Draftkings, $1 of your bonus is released. Or, to put it another way, in order to get your full $100 bonus in the scenario above, you'll need to wager $2,500. This is one of the main reasons why people are calling DraftKings a 'scam' site.
Daily Fantasy Sports is a relatively new concept. It basically takes traditional Fantasy Sports like Fantasy Football, and creates contests that last one day, instead of an entire season. Furthermore, you are able to draft any player you want, as long as you are able to remain within the Salary Cap you are provided with. Here is an example of what a MLB lineup card looks like.
So right now the answer is YES and NO in the United States. Because fantasy sports are considered a 'game of skill' it is not legally considered gambling. However, there are a few states that have more restrictive set of laws that outline what is considered a game of skill. These states are currently Arizona, Montana, Louisiana, Iowa and Vermont.
Draftkings states on their website that
"The legality of daily fantasy sports is the same as that of season long fantasy sports. In 2006, the US Federal Government passed a law called the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (or UIGEA), which was designed to prevent gambling over the internet. The law included a carve out that clarified the legality of all fantasy sports. Daily fantasy sports is a skill game and is not considered gambling. "
Yes, Draftkings has a great app on both Android and iOS that let you do everything from your phone or tablet. It's a great way to follow the action! You can find the iOS app in the itunes store, but the Draftkings Android app must be downloaded directly here from their website because it violates Google Play's policy.
Well, this is about as loaded of a question as you can ask. Obviously there are so many different strategies and game types, that there is no one right answer. Regardless of the contest, you're going to want to finish 'in the money'. Statistically, the easiest way to finish in the money is the 'head to head' (H2H) or 50/50 games. In a head to head game, you are simply playing your lineup vs one other player. The highest score wins. In a 50/50 you are trying to finish in the top 50% of the players. For example, if the tournament has 100 players, the top 50 win, and the bottom 50 lose. One thing you need to watch out for are 'multiple entry' 50/50 tournaments. In multiple entry 50/50 tournaments, there is no rule against a player entering his lineup multiple times. This can sometimes work to your favor but it just depends on how good their lineup does.
Statistically speaking, the next best odds of winning after the 50/50's and H2H's , are the Triple Up tournmanets. In triple up tournaments the top 3rd of the people will triple their money. For example, 18 people will join and the top 6 will triple their money, while the bottom 12 lose.
Next in line are the GPPs (Guaranteed Prize Pools) - these contest have the lowest probability of winning, however if you do win, you will win the most amount of money. All the GPPs allow multiple entries and have a guaranteed prize pool, which means that the contest will run whether or not it fills. Usually, in order to make back any money in these contests, you will need to finish in the top 20%. The TOP 10 finishers in GPPs are always rewarded handsomely. In fact, DraftKings is famous for it's 'Millionaire Maker' contests. They recently just held the first ever Millionaire Maker in PGA and it was a huge success as they filled 126k entries. Just about every week during last year's NFL season they had a millionaire maker too. The entry cost is usually in the $20-$30 range, and top prize takes a million bux!
Other game types include Satellite contests. In a satellite contest you are competing to win a ticket in to a higher paying contest. For instance, you can win your way in to a $100 contest, for as little as $5. The rules and payouts vary from satellite to satellite so be sure to read carefully.
**NOTE: Draftkings takes a cut of the money out of every contest. It will sometimes be directly taken out of the prize pool, (for example a $5 win on a h2h will pay you $9 instead of $10) or the amount of players will be slightly higher (for example, in a 50/50 where the top 50 players get paid, DK might allow 110 players to join) - the cut/rake they take usually falls around 10%-20% **
Currently DraftKings makes it easy to deposit, as they take both Credit Card and PayPal. Because it's not considered gambling, there are no restrictions from US banks etc. When you wish to withdraw money you are given two options 1. Check 2. Paypal . If you win a big prize you will be required to verify your identity by emailing them a copy of your ID and then have to fill out a tax form. If the prize is big enough they will wire the money directly to your bank account.
There are many differences between Daily Fantasy Sports sites. The biggest difference in my opinion, and the reason that Draftkings is superior to others is because of the Late Swap feature. On other DFS sites, you are stuck with the lineup you picked once the first game starts. That means you're stuck with your guys whether or not they end up starting. In sports such as Baseball and Basketball, when late scratches are common, you are able to swap them out with someone else as long as the game hasn't started. You are however still required to stay within your salary cap, so if you can't fit a replacement player in that budget, you are out of luck.
Another great feature of DraftKings is the ability to create your own private contests with your friends. You can simply choose the sport, pick your buy in amount and invite your friends to play. If you don't have enough friends, you can open your contest up to the public and have other people join. You can even make the contest FREE if you want to just play for fun. It's really a neat feature.
Draftkings also has the ability to do a Global Player Swap. If you need to make last minute changes across multiple lineups, you can use this tool to edit them all at once. Some days I have over 25 lineups to manage and I couldn't imagine doing it without the Global Player Swap button.
This is a personal preference and I've had various degrees of success with this method. Usually, I will enter a large GPP , several times, and stack one team. Because you have to finish in the top 20% anyway, you're going to have to dig deep and get a bit lucky. I use this strategy in MLB, NHL and NBA and have had several top finishes. In NFL I will mostly go with a 2-3 player stack. Usually QB->WR->RB depending on salary cap. If I'm playing a H2H or a 50/50 game, my stacking strategy is a bit more conservative. Instead of stacking just one team, I will pick two or three of my favorites for the day and only draft from those 3 teams.
Simple two word answer... 'Instant Gratification' - I've been playing traditional fantasy sports on Yahoo since early 2001. If you've ever played a season of traditional fantasy baseball, or hockey you'll know what a grind it is. Plus, you're usually stuck with a few deadbeats swho don't manage their team. As a result they seem to give everyone free wins and screw up the dynamic. In traditional Fantasy sports you have to decide on a buy in fee, mail a check and wait for the commissioner to finish nagging everyone to pay up. Then there's always some kind of sheisty mid-season trade involving the commissioner and his best friend. If you're lucky enough to make it to the money at the end of the season, good luck getting paid! I've had to wait several weeks to get my money in the past, and one time got stiffed out of $50 that some dead beat owner forgot to pay.
With Daily Fantasy Sports, you don't need to play when you don't want to. If you're going to be home on a Thursday night, why not kick back with a few beers and submit a lineup or two. It makes whatever game you're watching that much more interesting and allows you a chance to win money. You can basically put as much, or as little, money on the contest as you want. DraftKings offers games prices from $0.25 all the way up to thousands of dollars... that's something that Traditional Fantasy Sports doesn't let you do. I could go on and on about this, but the bottom line is, DFS are simply much more fun to me than Traditional Fantasy Sports.
Right now your FPPs can be used to enter more contests, or be used in the DraftKings VIP store. At the VIP store you can buy all sorts of swag from clothing to merchandise and more. You also have the option of paying with PayPal if you don't have enough FPPs.
Yes! They actually offer a lot of freerolls and freebie tournaments. If you follow them on Facebook and Twitter they'll promote them there. They also have a daily public freerolls, but they are very low paying. I'm talking like $10 payout for thousands of people. Some of there more notable promotions last year were giving away NHL tickets every week. They would run promotional contests where the winners would receive prize packages to sit in a box at the game. Some of them even let you ride the zamboni and take a shot on goal during intermission.
In my experience, their support has been great. Every time I have emailed them, they respond within the hour. On top of that, there were days this past NFL season where the site went down right around kickoff. They were totally cool about it, and gave everyone who didn't win a full refund for their ticket cost.
I have several favorite sites I use to get up-to-date player information. One of my favorites is Rotoworld.com They have great player information and even provide Daily Fantasy articles for certain sports. For NHL I like to look at DailyFaceoff.com - They give a list of the starting goalies and also power play lines. One of my favorite NHL strategies is stacking a team's entire power play line. For MLB I look at Covers.com and VegasInsider for betting odds. I like to get a feel for where the majority of the people are placing their bets. Lastly, one of my favorite places to get player news is Google. I'll just type in the name of the player and click on the News tab to see if anything comes up.
Occasionally I'll read disccuion sites like Reddit.com /r/dfsports/ (Daily Fantasy Sports Section) and Daily Fantasy Cafe.
This is a tough question. Because DFS is so new, and there is such little regulation at the moment, I think it will be around for several more years. Having said that, I do think the Government will step in at some point and try to regulate the industry. Just look what happened to PokerStars and Online Casinos in the United States in just the past 10 years. Now DraftKings and Daily Fantasy Sports are getting so big. They are sponsors for just about every major sport, and I believe a 'gambling scandal' is just a matter of time.
[Too see how fast the industry is growing, just do a google news search for Draftkings.]
Again, this is just my opinion and nobody can say for certain. Either way, I'm certainly going to enjoy it while it's around :)
Update: I haven't updated this in a while, but it seems that the cookie is already starting to crumble. Nevada has ruled again the DFS industry and considers it 'gambling' . As a result DK and FD have both stopped residents from playing in that state. More recently however, was the ruling in by the attorney general in New York. New York is where Fanduel is headquartered, and they have recently stopped allowing deposits from residents in the state. It will be interesting to watch this unfold.
Regardless of what happens, the DFS industry will be changing soon...