Because Daily Fantasy Sports became so popular among poker players, DraftKings has been a important sponsor of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) the past few years, with one of the first notable appearances coming in 2012 when Greg Merson made the final table of the Main Event sporting a DraftKings patch on his left arm. Things progressed from there and hit a peak at the 2015 WSOP with more than 100 players qualified through DraftKings satellites.
The partnership between DraftKings and the World Series of Poker shows that daily fantasy sports are becoming really popular. Several poker players have reportedly been very successful when playing DFS and some are making even more money than they used to with poker.
Last week, Nevada state ruled that daily fantasy sports is a form of gambling and will require a license to operate in the state. A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said all unlicensed daily fantasy activities must cease and desist as of Thursday. Operators could be invited to apply for a gaming license. Those who do not comply could face felony fines and 10 years in prison.
World Series of Poker (WSOP) and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) juggernaut DraftKings have distanced themselves after the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) advised all DFS sites to cease offering business in the state. DraftKings was a major sponsor of the WSOP all summer, and even included satellite DFS tournaments in New Jersey and Nevada on its own site which awarded WSOP main-event buy-ins as prizes, but the DFS network’s presence won’t be felt when the November Nine commences on November 8.
In a statement released by the WSOP this week, Seth Palansky explained that DraftKings would not be represented in the final WSOP event of 2015 although he deliberately stopped short of shutting the door forever.
Although this deal won’t have much of an impact on the forthcoming WSOP Main Event final, it could be a sign of things to come. With DFS facing a similar wave of legal scrutiny and state persecution that hit online poker a few years ago, the amount of money being spent on advertising could quickly dry up. That’s the bad news for daily fantasy. The good news? Daily fantasy isn’t going to die, regardless of how much it’s getting pummeled. The simple reason: there are too many people that stand to benefit from the industry succeeding.