Poker Coverage: Poker Legislation Poker Tournaments Daily Fantasy Sports Poker Stories Podcast U.S. Poker Markets

Mark Cuban: Playing DFS Like Owning NBA Team

Investor In DFS Industry Start-Ups Says Games Are Skill


ForbesBillionaire investor and NBA owner Mark Cuban penned an op-ed for USA Today explaining why daily fantasy sports sites are here to stay despite some state governments claiming the contests amount to gambling.

Cuban, who is an investor in SportsRadar and Fantasy Labs, said that playing DFS is akin to running a NBA team. Cuban has owned the Dallas Mavericks since 2000.

“So let’s talk about what it means to be a game of skill because it’s something that’s misunderstood, and it’s really quite simple,” Cuban wrote. “I’ll use my own personal experience owning the Dallas Mavericks to make the point.”

“Donnie Nelson and my team manage the Mavericks in the same way that most sophisticated people play daily fantasy sports — they collect the data, analyze it and make predictions about what it means. We succeed in the same way fantasy players succeed on daily fantasy sports sites — by making accurate predictions.”

“We scout, test, research and execute; it’s not that different than your typical daily fantasy player. If it sounds easy, then I suggest you not play because you don’t get it. It takes work and, yes, it takes skill. Like any complicated endeavor, it is equal parts art and science. More often than not we fail, but when we succeed, the rewards justify the sacrifice. The same principle applies to fantasy sports.”

Cuban cited research showing that soon more Americans will play fantasy sports, daily or season-long, than actual sports. He said that he is in favor of regulation that provides “some reasonable restrictions.”

Cuban’s comments come not long after FanDuel defended the skill-based nature of DFS by distancing the games from poker, which the site claims is a “chance-dominated game.” FanDuel’s unwarranted criticism of poker drew a lot of attention in the gaming world.