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Fans Flock to DraftKings, FanDuel Despite Controversy

by Keith Wagstaff /

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A whiff of controversy was not enough to keep a record number people from playing fantasy football with FanDuel and DraftKings over the weekend.

The two sites attracted 7.4 million entrants into their guaranteed prize pools for last week's games, according to SuperLobby, which performs analytics for the daily fantasy sports industry. That is a new high, up from 6.85 million the previous week. Overall, it was the most profitable week of the NFL season for both sites, as Bloomberg first reported.

The record haul comes after DraftKings employee Ethan Haskell won $350,000 while using rival site FanDuel, which led to both sites banning their employees from competing in daily fantasy football contests over concerns that inside information could give them an unfair advantage over average players.

"Obviously, the market was fully informed," SuperLobby CEO David Copeland told NBC News, "and the market chose that they wanted to play more contests this week than they did last week."

Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal, has invested in FanDuel.

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Combined, DraftKings and FanDuel pulled in $45.6 million in entry fees this week, compared to $43.6 million last week. The numbers in this story include satellite contests, which give entrants the chance to gain entry into bigger, more lucrative prize pools.

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