Games firm pays penalty

FanDuel hit with $1.3m US fine

Nigel Eccles
Nigel Eccles: founder

Fantasy sports operators FanDuel and DraftKings have each agreed to pay more than $1.3 million (£1m) to settle allegations of unfair and deceptive practices raised by the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General.

The fines are among a number of law suits imposed on the two market leaders in the American fantasy sports sector.

FanDuel was founded in Edinburgh by a team including Northern Irishman Nigel Eccles and employs 150 staff in the Quartermile area.

It is now headquartered in New York. It recently abandoned a merger with DraftKings and its founding partners have reduced their equity holdings.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in statement: “I am glad to have reached these settlements to address various consumer issues that existed at the early stages of this new industry.

“We have since implemented a set of comprehensive regulations that provide consumers with broad-ranging protections and that have served as a model for many other states.”

The attorney general’s office opened an investigation into the companies in early 2015.

In a statement it said: “As a part of that review, the AG’s Office found that some participants in daily fantasy sports contests were not adequately protected and that comprehensive consumer-protective regulation was needed.

“In response to concerns uncovered during its review, the AG’s Office proposed and implemented first-of-their-kind consumer protection regulations for the fantasy sports industry.”

Both companies cooperated in the investigation and agreed to implement “significant” change in their business models.

FanDuel said: “We have worked closely with the Massachusetts attorney general’s office in their review of fantasy sports, including their issuance of the first set of consumer protection regulations for our industry, which we were pleased to comply with since their inception in 2016.

“FanDuel has worked tirelessly to pass laws in 16 states that solidify the fantasy sports industry and implement many of these same important consumer protections.”

Last year FanDuel and DraftKings paid $6m to the New York attorney general in separate settlements of lawsuits over alleged deceptive advertising practices.

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