FanDuel: Daily Fantasy Sports Review

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What is FanDuel?

FanDuel is one of the longest-tenured operators in the daily fantasy sports industry, having first launched in 2009. It debuted in its current iteration as a site primarily focused on DFS play for U.S.-based sports in 2010, and is currently considered the second-largest company in the space.

FanDuel has a strategic partnership agreement with the NBA, as well as multiple individual agreements with NBA and NFL teams. The site offers a comprehensive array of sports and contest types through its website, iOS or Android application. Many of the company’s offerings are more or less industry-standard, but there are a number of initiatives that are unique or proprietary:

  • Friends Mode– A recurring format of daily or weekly private leagues designed for friends, family, and colleagues to compete with each other for real-money prizes. Friends mode is offered for NFL, NBA, NHL, EPL and MLB-themed contests.
  • “Everybody Wins” guaranteed prize pools (GPPs) where all participants finish in the money, although not all break even or see a profit on the entry fee. Presently being offered with .25 cents entry fees only.
  • LABS– The in-site platform where FanDuel rolls out new contest types with innovative scoring, roster construction, and rules. Recent innovations have included Single-Game contests, BOOST, MVP, and Beat the Score, a contest wherein users have to eclipse a certain cumulative score with their lineup, as opposed to competing against each other.
  • FanDuel Bingo– A digital bingo contest in which players track certain in-game occurrences and related developments pertaining to a single sporting event, such as the Super Bowl or NBA All-Star game, on a virtual bingo card. Prizes are awarded for cards that have a row, diagonal row or column in which all events in the squares within it transpire.
  • FanDuel Scout– A companion app that syncs with a player’s account and develops the latest news and alerts about players in already-built or active lineups. Also contains a number of analytics tools.
  • FanDuel Points (FDP)– The site’s proprietary ongoing player incentive program, where players earn five FDPs for every $1 of real-money contest play they engage in. The site also runs occasional promotions where the payout rate for FDPs is increased in certain contests.
  • Experienced Player Badges– The site tracks the experience level (via frequency of play) and winnings of each user. FanDuel designates players who’ve played in at least 500 but less than 1,000 contests, or who’ve won at least $2,500 over a span of six or more contests, with a blue star. It designates players who’ve played in 1,000 or more contests, or who’ve won a thousand or more in a single contest four or more times, with a white star.
  • BeginnerOnly Contests- Contests where only players who’ve entered less than 50 contests and have not earned an experience badge based on their winnings can participate.

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FanDuel Deposit and Withdrawal

Deposits

Players can deposit money on FanDuel through a Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit card, or through their PayPal account. Minimum deposit amount if $10.00 and the maximum amount is $10,000.00. Due to varying state regulations, players in certain jurisdictions may initially be prevented from depositing above a certain amount per month. Players subject to such restrictions wishing to be considered for a temporary or permanent increase in the amount they’re allowed to deposit monthly are encouraged to complete a form through FanDuel’s Customer Support department to begin the process of having their request considered.

Withdrawals

Players can withdraw money on FanDuel by accessing their Account page and filling out a withdrawal request form. All funds are eligible for withdrawal at any time, with the exception of cases where a player has yet to play through a bonus-generating deposit, i.e. entering contests of which the total entry fees equal the value of the deposit.

Presently, FanDuel funds withdrawals via either check or through PayPal. The former method typically takes 7-10 business days to process, while the latter is usually has a 2-3 business day time frame with respect to fulfillment.

FanDuel Games and Features

FanDuel offers a full array of daily fantasy contest types, with entry fees that have at times been as low as .01 cents (Pocket Change contests) to potentially as high as $50,000:

  • Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs)
  • 50/50s
  • Multipliers
  • Multi-player leagues (3-100-player)
  • Head-to-Head
  • Qualifiers (when available)
  • Beat the Score
  • FanDuel Bingo

Additionally, FanDuel offers free contests with no cash payouts of any kind, and occasional freerolls that do offer pre-set cash prizes.

Presently, FanDuel offers contests in the following sports:

  • NBA
  • MLB
  • NFL
  • PGA
  • NHL
  • EPL
  • WNBA

Existing Platforms

FanDuel users can review and enter available contests, cancel entered contests, create and edit lineups, check on live scoring for their entered contests and deposit or withdraw funds through the operator’s website or through its iOS application or Android applications on their smart devices.

FanDuel Player Rewards

First-Time Depositors

FanDuel currently offers the following incentives to first-time depositors:

  • Initial Welcome Bonus for new customers varies depending on referral source. Bonuses are released at a rate of 4% for every $1 of contest entry fees paid with actual cash.

Referral Program

FanDuel rewards existing players who successfully refer others to the site. The operator has developed an incentive program that pays off for both the new and existing customer:

  • Each FanDuel user receives a $10 real-money bonus for each referral they make that is new to FanDuel, opens up a FanDuel account, verifies their identity, and plays at least $20 in paid-entry contests.
  • Referrals also earn $10 once they’ve met the terms described above.

For referrals to count towards a player’s tally, they must have clicked on the player’s unique referral link, which can be provided to others through e-mail, shared via Facebook or Twitter, or via a system-generated challenge link for a specific contest.

Beginning in October 2017, FanDuel also instituted a $100 one-time referral reward for any player making three qualifying promotion referrals within a three-week period.

FanDuel Customer Support

As a major player in the DFS industry, FanDuel boasts a multi-faceted customer support system.

FanDuel features a comprehensive support tab on its website that offers assistance with, and answers to, many of the common questions or issues that users have. The Support sections include:

  • General Questions – Basic information for new users on FanDuel regarding tax obligations on winnings, setting up a profile on the site, accessing live support, location-based restrictions and more.
  • Log In/Password/Username – An overview of account security measures.
  • Verification – An overview of the site’s process for verifying the identity of its users.
  • Promotion/Promo Code – An overview of the site’s current promotions.
  • Contest Edit/Entry – Information on how to manage gameplay on the site.
  • Rules and Live Scoring – An overview of general rules and scoring for contests on the site, as well as answers to various related questions.
  • Deposit/Withdrawal – An overview of how the site handles player funds and how players can both add and withdraw from their bankrolls.
  • Trust and Safety – Brief overview of Multiple Account and Experience Badge policies.
  • Friends Mode – Overview of this contest type.

Players who cannot obtain answers to their questions through this content are also able to access a FanDuel representative via live chat seven days a week between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm Eastern Time, or submit a question via an online support ticket form.

FanDuel Restrictions

FanDuel abides by all applicable federal laws governing paid-entry fantasy sports, as well as the specific state regulations in the areas in which it offers its contests. As such, FanDuel does not currently offer paid-entry contests in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Texas
  • Washington

Residents of any state wishing to enter a paid-entry fantasy contest on FanDuel must be physically located within a state that the operator serves at the time of contest entry.

Moreover, the following are some other basic requirements for playing on FanDuel:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older (21 years of age or older in Massachusetts)
  • Must be a citizen or resident of the United States of America or Canada with an address in the United States of America or Canada;
  • Must be physically located in the United States of America or Canada in a jurisdiction in which participation in the contest is not prohibited by applicable law at the time of deposit or contest entry;
  • Individual may not be listed on any U.S. Government list of prohibited or restricted parties;
  • Individual must abide at all times by these Terms of Use and any other agreements between themselves and FanDuel regarding use of the Service or participation in games;
  • Individual must not subject to backup withholding tax because: (a) they are exempt from backup withholding by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • When entering any contest that awards prizes, individual may not an employee or operator of another daily fantasy site that charges entrance fees or offers cash prizes.
  • Individual, by virtue of affiliation with another daily fantasy site, cannot have access to the site’s pre-release non-public confidential data about contest-related information.