NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants to be the realist in the daily fantasy forum that helps protect fans from crossing a line state and federal legislatures are still trying to define.
"Season-long fantasy -- many people probably play here in this room -- it's for fun," Goodell said during a fan forum in Minneapolis on Sunday morning, per ESPN. "It's social. It's an opportunity to enjoy the game, and we encourage our kids to do it. They have clubs in school. It's a way to connect people, and we think that's a wonderful way. Daily fantasy's taken a little different approach. We want to make sure we understand how it would be done. We love people who are going to engage in the game and have fun with it. It's not about making money. It's about enjoying the game and enjoying the team, enjoying the players you pick."
In the past 45 days, several ominous developments created doubt about the direction of daily fantasy. In the wake of Nevada ruling daily fantasy games were gambling and not a "game of skill" as some companies suggest, several other states followed suit, the most significant being New York. At least 650,000 users were lost from the anchor companies in the industry, DraftKings and FanDuel when New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman sent cease-and-desist letters to the two daily fantasy sports companies on Nov. 10, ordering them to stop accepting players from the state.
Banks, credit card companies and others, in addition to DraftKings and FanDuel, were listed in a nationwide class-action suit filed in the Southern District of Florida over the weekend. It charges 40 individuals with negligence, breach of contract and unjust enrichment and other violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Goodell said the NFL is not yet concerned with suggestions that illegal gambling outfits might impact individual players.
"Daily fantasy is different, in the sense that it's essentially, the player picks whatever players they want," Goodell said. "They do that independently, and it's a matchup of those players. It really would be difficult to have that remote influence we are worried about than gambling in general. So I'm less troubled on that front. But I also want to make sure that, specifically our fans, when you play something, I want to make sure there are proper consumer protections. That's important for us."