Report: DraftKings asked NBA partners to defer ‘about 10 percent’ of committed payments

By Jesse Reed

Under legal pressure, the daily fantasy sports website DraftKings is reportedly asking some NBA partners to defer about 10 percent of its committed payments for the time being.

Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg Business first broke this news via Twitter on Thursday. He then followed up with a column (along with Joshua Brustein) detailing what is known at this time. In addition to the financial deferment being requested by the fantasy website is a request “that its signs and banners in arenas show up on television less often, according to one of the people.”

This could signal the company’s desire to lower its national profile, going from balls-out, in-your-face advertising (which is what attracted all the legal attention in the first place) to a less invasive approach.

On that note, it is interesting how not a month ago, it seemed like every other commercial on television during sports broadcasts were advertising DFS. Suddenly, they are nowhere to be found.

When approached about the financial deferment report, DraftKings responded with this:

“We have good relations and are in good standing with all of our partner teams. We are always in dialogue with them, including now,” DraftKings said in a statement, per the report.

As mentioned in the article, the move could also signal the company building up for a prolonged legal battle, stemming from states like New York and Las Vegas, which have both ruled that DFS is illegal gambling and must not be operating in those states.

The wave of similar rulings could be upcoming, with states like California and Massachusetts potentially joining the crowd soon.

It seems inevitable that DraftKings and other sites, like FanDuel, will be enveloped in legal battles for the foreseeable future. What will be interesting to follow is whether the question of legality will ultimately have any impact on the desire many people have to continue playing the games, and if there might be some legal grey area where the sites can exist.