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DFS Industry Revenues Total More Than $327 Million For 2016-2017

DFS Industry Revenues Total More Than $327 Million For 2016-2017

The daily fantasy sports industry, with DraftKings and FanDuel leading the way, brought in revenues of $327,326,945 over the course of the last fiscal year.

That figure is based on data recorded across all state jurisdictions that regulate daily fantasy sports (DFS), but reported to the New York State Gaming Commission specifically (as the NYSGC has the most up-to-date monthly revenue data), during fiscal year 2017, which began in September 2016 and ended this August. The NYSGC data also goes a long way toward understand the total gaming revenues as nearly every DFS operator in US market is registered in the Empire State. Thus, the information the Commission keeps on hand should give a good indication of the earnings of the entire legal DFS industry in the United States, even though there are of course some smaller operators not doing business in the state, nor does the data not account for European operators.

As large as the yearly revenues are, the handle – that is, the entry fees collected from participants in daily fantasy contests – are even more impressive. FY2017’s recorded handle clocked in at a whopping $3.2, or actually a little north of that, which is roughly along the same lines as industry estimates for the handle brought in by the nation’s DFS operators.

According to the NYSGM data, the two biggest months for participation in DFS during the last fiscal year were November and December, with entry fees totaling out at $419.3 million and $376.8 million, respectively. Those two months roughly correspond with the meat and tail-end of the NFL season, which also see the highest viewership ratings outside of the Super Bowl itself. Whether or not those same months prove to be the biggest for DFS players and NFL viewers this year with the ongoing – though much diminished – national anthem protest by various athletes drawing ratings down remains to be seen.

The month with the smallest recorded handle was August 2016, with just $164,487,825 in reported handle. Again, that roughly corresponds with a low point in general fan interest in the NFL, given that the preseason doesn’t begin until early August.

Another interesting takeaway from these findings outside of what it says about the strength of the DFS industry is what it proves about New York, namely that the NYSGC can accurately and effectively keep track of the taxes paid into the state’s coffers by DFS operators. This is enlightening because it shows better than decent return that states authorizing and regulating daily fantasy contests actually get out of the deal. For instance, New York handle was approximately $315 million, but New York’s take of the DFS operator’s taxable revenue was $32 million on the year – that’s roughly nine to 10 percent of revenues going back to the state.

However, while this data indicates the states participating in legal DFS regulation and by, extension, the DFS operators registered in these states, are benefiting from the arrangement, it doesn’t indicate much growth in the industry. Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a leading sports betting industry analytics firm, in a recent report estimated that the handle brought in by all operators everywhere in the world was about $3.2 billion, with revenues of $350 million for calendar year 2016, which, if true, gives the impression that the industry as a whole has plateaued if not peaked. However, with new operators like the simply named Draft.com gaining prominence and established players in the segment investing more heavily in advertising for fantasy offerings for sports like basketball, means the whole market landscape could be in for a LegalGamblingUSAshakeup.