Attorney General Maura Healey ‘Reviewing’ DraftKings
State Attorney General Maura Healey says she “reviewing” the legality of Boston-born daily fantasy sports site DraftKings, which is in the midst of one of the most aggressive advertising blitzes in recent memory.
“The point is this: This is a new industry. It’s something that we’re reviewing, and we’ll learn more about it,” Healey told State House News Service on Wednesday.
Founded in 2011, DraftKings is headquartered in Boston’s Post Office Square. It is nearly impossible to open one’s eyes—on the computer at work, on the commute home, —and not see a DraftKings advertisement. For Week 1 of the NFL season, DraftKings and competitor FanDuel spent a combined $31 million for more than 9,000 national television spots, according to advertising tracking firm iSpot.tv.
In fact, it was this sort of aggressive advertising that brought DraftKings to the attention of Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., a New Jersey Democrat who requested a hearing on the legality of fantasy sports before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Fans are currently allowed to risk money on the performance of an individual player. How is that different than wagering money on the outcome of a game?” Pallone said in a statement.
While Healey has proven an outspoken casino opponent, Pallone is a self-described “strong advocate for legalized and regulated professional sports betting and the billions in profits it would bring to New Jersey.”
“Anyone who watched a game this weekend was inundated by commercials for fantasy sports websites, and it’s only the first week of the NFL season,” Pallone said. “These sites are enormously popular, arguably central to the fans’ experience, and professional leagues are seeing the enormous profits as a result. Despite how mainstream these sites have become, the legal landscape governing these activities remains murky and should be reviewed.”
Fans did not take too kindly to the frontal assault. Data from Brandwatch provided to Digiday reveals that 75 percent of mentions of DraftKings’ ads online were negative. “Negative mentions don’t generally concern themselves with the quality of the ads, or the messages within them, but just seeing them repeatedly,” Brandwatch analyst Kellan Terry told Digiday.