Yahoo is making some changes to its daily fantasy sports offering in an effort to make contests “more transparent and fun for all users.” Starting today, individual players will be limited to up to 10 entries per contest, the use of scripting tools to manipulate entries will be prohibited, and veteran players will be clearly labeled.
For nearly nine months, Yahoo has allowed people to play daily fantasy sports online, putting it into competition with the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings. “It was an exciting addition to our Fantasy Sports product suite and because our users were clamoring for it,” was the rationale according to Michael Le Guardia, Yahoo’s head of product for its sports and finance divisions.
“Yahoo Fantasy sports has tens of millions of registered fans, and we are making these changes today as the result of months of user experience and customer requests,” he continued. “Yahoo values an environment that is transparent and trustworthy. We also want to provide the best Fantasy games for true sports fans.”
Players can enter contests every day, for up to $600 per day. There are a variety of contests available, including 50/50 and guaranteed contests (which determine how much someone receives if they win). But in order to maintain fairness and transparency, Yahoo has opted to release several updates that it believes will maintain the entertainment value of the system.
For each contest, Yahoo limits individuals to 10 entries and further states that “in no event can a single user’s entries make up more than 1 percent of total entries in a contest.” The idea is likely to maximize the chance of more people winning and prevent monopoly by more experienced or serious players.
Other modifications include clearly distinguishing novice and recreational players from veterans, providing the latter with a badge so that you’ll know how “fair” a contest really will be. Players who have entered more than 1,000 contests in a single year, or those who have entered more than 250 contests and won in more than 65 percent of them in a year, or those who have won a single prize of $1,000 or greater more than three times in a year will receive this designation. And just like in Las Vegas casinos with its high-roller treatment, Yahoo will be creating special, free, invite-only contests for veterans.
Lastly, Yahoo has outlawed the use of automated scripts that players use to upload or edit their entries in order to maximize their chances of winning. In doing so, the company wants to level the playing field for everyone.
When asked whether these changes were made in response to recent investigations into FanDuel and DraftKings by regulators, Le Guardia responded: “The changes we’re making are based on what we think is best for Yahoo and our users. We’re focused on evolving our daily fantasy product. We have built a great platform that has been a complement to our full season fantasy games.”
With 57 million fantasy sports players estimated this year, Yahoo certainly doesn’t want to lose any advantage it may have. And with the two market leaders currently embroiled in an investigation, Yahoo wants to shore up its dominance in the arena and show that it’s a perfectly legitimate operation.