Pallone wants list of NFL participants playing in fantasy sports leagues
Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is asking two fantasy sports websites for a listing of personnel from the NFL who have participated in their contests, and wants to know how they notify the pro leagues of participation from their employees.
In a letter delivered to both DraftKings and FanDuel on Thursday, the sixth district congressman from Monmouth County said the NCAA has "taken steps to distance itself from daily fantasy sports websites" and requested that the sites no longer include college sports. The two companies, according to Pallone, are also required to provide a list to the NCAA of "connected individuals participating in their contests."
He said he wants the same list for participants from the NFL as well as Major League Baseball, the NHL and the NBA. The request includes players, referees, coaches, trainers and other medical staff and team management including owners.
Pallone also wants to know their winnings over $250. In an interview with MSNBC's Craig Melvin, the congressman said he has heard there is a cap of $250 on winnings for NFL players but says the league has not been clear.
"The whole issue is the integrity of these fantasy sports sites," said Pallone. He favors the legalization of sports betting but until then, Pallone said, regulation is needed "so that when someone plays on these sites they know it's transparent and fair and right now there's no guarantee of that."
Pallone said in the interview it is "hypocritical" of the NFL to be against legalized sports betting because of concerns about player integrity, while it also invests in the fantasy sites.
Earlier this month, The New York Times reported on allegations fantasy sports site employees were placing bets using information not generally available to the public — though more recently a law firm determined a a DraftKings employee who accidentally internal data the same did not have access to the information before winning $350,000 on FanDuel, ESPN reported.
Pallone and New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (D) wrote to the Federal Trade Commission earlier in October urging it to review whether there are adequate safeguards for fantasy football league players.
Pallone's new letter is below: