Report: DraftKings, FanDuel Made $1 Million in Campaign Contributions
DraftKings and FanDuel have both added sports betting to their product lines and a report by PlayUSA finds that along with their lobbying efforts for their traditional daily fantasy sports products, the two companies have made more than $1 million in campaign contributions in state’s looking to legalize sports betting.
The report found that the two companies have also been focusing on Illinois, where they face the threat of being excluded from the market due to a proposed “bad actor” clause in that state’s proposed sports betting legislation.
The clause, introduced by Illinois State Rep. Bob Rita, could exclude the two companies for operating daily fantasy sports in the states. The state’s attorney general ruled in 2015 that DFS was gambling and issued an opinion that it violated the state’s gambling laws.
DraftKings has issued a statement that the bad actor amendment is an attempt to restrict competition in the state.
However, the two companies continue to operate DFS games in the state and, according to the Play USA report, have been making political contributions there.
In 2016, FanDuel made $62,500 in campaign contributions in Illinois, according to records from the Illinois State Board of Elections. DraftKings contributed $38,500 during the same year.
In 2017, records show DraftKings contributed another $26,000 to state Democratic lawmakers while FanDuel dropped to $3,500. However, in 2018, as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting, DraftKings made $94,500 in campaign contributions while FanDuel made $64,500.
According to the report, DraftKings has contributed a total of $159,000 to individual lawmakers and political committees. Additionally, FanDuel has spent $130,500.
In another example, according to the Florida Department of State Division of Elections, FanDuel contributed $101,000 to campaign funds during the 2016 election cycle. DraftKings made $86,500.
Over a three-year period, FanDuel and DraftKings combined to make $602,500 in contributions in Florida. The state is involved in a controversial debate over whether to legalize sports betting.