The Daily Fantasy Sports Platers Alliance is a new group, formed by two leaders of The Poker Players Alliance, to fight for the interests of DFS players.
Steve Miller, the current PPA California State Director, and Drew Lesofski, a former PPA Director of Grassroots and External Affairs, told PocketFives.com this week that they are seeking to “save daily fantasy sports in the US by independently building a powerful grassroots organization to represent DFS player wants and needs vis-a-vis our interactions with government regulators, legislators, and DFS operators.”
“It’s a good fit to do right now because there is currently no representation for players and there’s no one looking out on their behalf,” said Miller. “Players want fair play, transparency in their operations, and they want legislators to craft legislation that preserves the game and allows them to play.”
Player faith in the DFS industry has been shaken by the so called “insider trading scandal” which led many to suspect that employees of DFS sites may, in the past, have had access to sensitive information that has given them an advantage over other opponents in the games.
While the employee at the center of the investigation, Ethan Haskell, was cleared of wrongdoing by an independent investigation, the scandal highlighted the essential lack of transparency of the unregulated industry and the business models of its operators.
And in the meantime, confusion reigns as to the overall legality of DFS. While it’s been declared legal in many states, Nevada recently said DFS constitutes gambling under state law and that operators would need to apply for a sports betting license to continue offering games.
However, since there’s no such thing as an online sports betting license in Nevada, the ruling would seem to leave DFS high and dry.
Then, last week, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, accused DFS of offering illegal gambling and ordered sites to cease operating in the state. While players protested on the streets, DraftKings and FanDuel both filed lawsuits to challenge the judgment.
The New York Post has reported a source in Washington says that the Department of Justice is also investigating and is likely to impose a ban on a federal level, suggesting that the fate of the industry may mirror that of online poker.
“I recognized that we needed representation close to DC because there will be plenty of action there and Drew is very qualified to do it,” said Miller. “I think he’s the perfect individual to handle the government relations side. I am an experienced cause advocate and social marketer. I have an intellectual curiosity about the industry and where it’s going. We have seen what happened to the poker industry already.
“Individually, the voice of a player doesn’t contain much value. But, if there’s a unified voice, we believe we can represent it and be the intermediary to the other stakeholders in the industry.”