Scandals are not new to the fantasy sports realm, which is highly unregulated. It is an imaginary world where players bring together real athletes with their fantasy teams. Huge prize winnings and the lure of easy money prompts players to solicit inside information regarding the future plans of the company that is a heavily guarded secret and reeks of insider trading. The whiff of scandal caught up with two companies who issued statements harping on the integrity of their employees following allegations of insider trading, placing bets by leaking information to which the general public is not privy. This has resulted in several malpractices and the same is being rectified by concerned organisations by imposing a strict code of conduct and discipline among its employees. This is likely to usher in some sense of transparency and commitment to adhere to honest rules and regulations, reduce instances of malpractices and bring down high levels of insider trading.

The Story so Far

News of a scandal broke out following the admission of an employee of DraftKings of an unintentional release of information short of the third-week commencement of NFL games. Said to be a midlevel content manager, the employee allegedly reported winnings of USD 350,000 at a rival site, FanDuel, in the same week. The entire exercise bore the workings of insider trading and lends a crucial edge to a person in winning a bet.

Following this incident both the companies went into damage control mode and issued statements stating that nothing was more sacrosanct for them than the integrity of the game. It was generally admitted that employees from both companies had won huge earnings by playing at rival site games. In order to control the situation, temporary bans have been announced by both the companies on employees playing on rival sites. Employees have also been barred from playing on their home sites.

The Undertone

In recent years, fantasy games have achieved cult status and are a hot favourite with players. Hugely popular with gaming aficionados, they are becoming increasingly popular and their advertisements are all over football game broadcasts. The industry derives its present existence from informal fantasy games that started several years ago with crazed fan groups playing against each other purely for fun during an ongoing season.

Hypothetical teams were assembled and points were calculated on the basis of actual players in real-life games. The gaming concept underwent a sea-change in recent years with companies led by DraftKings and FanDuel starting online games on a daily and weekly basis. A fan could enjoy on the site by the payment of an entry fee to the website usually in the range of 25 cents to USD 1,000. The player was allowed to play several dozen opponents and garner prize winnings of more than USD 2 million .Critics and experts who keep a close eye on the gambling domains are of the opinion that this concept barely differs from a style of gambling popular in Las Vegas and normally banned in the sports arena.

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