Billion Dollar Fantasy: The High-Stakes Game Between FanDuel and DraftKings That Upended Sports in America

Albert Chen. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-544-91114-7
In this entertaining debut, Sports Illustrated editor Chen examines a decade of online fantasy sports, in which players compete for cash prizes by assembling rosters of professional sports players. Chen interviews the chief executives of FanDuel (a New York company founded in 2009 by five Brits who’d first tried a website that would allow visitors to wager on predicting news events) and DraftKings (founded in Boston in 2012 and evolved from sports nerd Jason Robins’s “obsession with stats and strategy”), and shows how they created billion-dollar businesses. From the outset, the founders of both companies were concerned about the legality of betting on athletes’ performances, but they believed a loophole in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act allowed fantasy sports to be considered a game of skill rather than chance. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the basis for attempts to shut down the two fantasy sports websites, opening the door not only to the sites but to sports betting in all 50 states, a development endorsed by professional sports leagues that had once opposed gambling. Fans of financial thrillers such as Barbarians at the Gate will be excited by this insider account of the dizzying rise of fantasy sports websites. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/06/2019
Release date: 09/10/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-0940-0566-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-0940-0565-2
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-544-91118-5
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