SPORT

FanDuel Just Might Be Poaching DraftKings Users

A split in the two sites' web traffic strongly suggests that FanDuel is winning over some of DraftKings' users

Nov 18, 2015 at 4:24 PM ET

Daily fantasy sports sites DraftKings and FanDuel are embroiled in a battle with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over the legality of their platforms. As they entered the 2015 football season, however, they were duking it out with a different foe – each other.

Both sites have blanketed the air waves with advertising this Fall in hopes of turning the daily fantasy duopoly into monopoly, but a scandal that came to light in early October over insider betting may have put one site in the lead, at least when it comes to web traffic.

Web traffic on DraftKings.com dropped by almost 20 million visits in October, according to Similar Web, which provides large samples of data on web traffic. During the same period, traffic to FanDuel.com spiked by almost 20 million visits – a strong indicator that FanDuel poached some of DraftKings’ users last month.

Prior to October, traffic for the two sites were neck-and-neck, and the beginning of the split coincides with one of the first daily fantasy scandals in which a DraftKings employee with access to company data won $350,000 playing on FanDuel.

It’s possible that legal issues could shake up the pecking order between the two again. With Schneiderman seeking an injunction to ban daily fantasy sites in the state of New York, claiming that the games constitute online gambling and are “plainly illegal,” the two billion-dollar companies have responded very differently.

FanDuel announced on Tuesday that it will temporarily deny entry into paid contests from New York residents. The company typically sees a peak in web traffic during this time of the year, but a FanDuel spokesperson would not comment on how it’s poaching DraftKings’ users. They did, however, confirm that traffic went up by 20 million visits in October.

In a defiant statement claiming the injunction is based on “an incomplete understanding of the facts,” DraftKings said it will remain open in New York. The company did not respond to a request for an interview.

Social media chatter suggests the different approaches are not going unnoticed by daily fantasy players.