Illinois Bettor Urges Regulators to Probe FanDuel’s “Predatory” Pre-Made Single Game Parlays

  • Brubaker has gone 1 for 43 betting $1 a day on FanDuel’s pre-made SGPs
  • FanDuel’s CEO confirmed 40% of handle came from its app homepage
  • If sportsbooks “have the thumb on the scale,” regulators should step in, Brubaker says
  • Brubaker claims an online counter showing how many people bet is deceptive
An Illinois bettor wants regulators to probe “predatory” betting practices, having gone 1 for 43 betting $1 per day on pre-made SGPs via FanDuel. [Image:]

Long losing streak

An Illinois sports bettor has called for regulators to investigate what he believes to be “predatory” betting practices by the FanDuel Sportsbook. He has won just one out of 44 bets while wagering $1 a day on pre-made single-game parlays (SGPs) via the operator.

a record of one win to 43 losses

Steve Brubaker is concerned enough with his findings to suggest further study. He took to Twitter on Thursday to announce the moment his 44th bet failed, leaving him with a record of one win to 43 losses:

Commenting on what his findings mean, Brubaker highlighted that FanDuel runs multiple SGP promos daily, with a preloaded $10 bet likely the most bet option. He believes this would earn the sportsbook “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

While stressing his observations are neither scientific nor definitive, Brubaker believes regulators should investigate the Flutter-owned sportsbook’s practices.

It starts with Howe

Brubaker started his experiment after reading a statement by FanDuel CEO Amy Howe. She confirmed that 40% of the New York City-based sportsbook’s handle came from its app homepage, where three-quarters of the page features SGPs.

FanDuel hit a 50% share of the US online sports betting market in the fourth quarter of 2022, with US revenue of the brand’s parent Flutter up 67% to $3.2bn.

Brubaker placed his first SGP on January 20, betting $1 on whatever pre-made parlay popped up when logging into the FanDuel app daily. He went on a 26-day losing streak before his only win. While Brubaker’s sample size is small, according to PlayIllinois, he stressed that his findings are concerning, stating:

I think these things may be predatory.”

“If they’re really designed to [rarely] hit by the licensee then somebody should want to stop them from doing that,” he added. Brubaker believes regulators should study parlays and SGPs created by bettors and hold them up to single-game parlays created by FanDuel to see if there is a significant disparity in win-loss.

Unfair and manipulative

Brubaker suggests in FanDuel’s case that the SGPs are crafted in a way that is unfair to bettors. The bettor believes that if regulators find that sportsbooks “have the thumb on the scale” they should ban them from offering the product.

He also has concerns that FanDuel tries to hook customers to bet their pre-made SGPs by showing how many people have placed a bet via a flame graphic. His claims that even though elements of the bets often change, the online counter showing how many people placed the wager does not reset as it should.

PlayIllinois reports FanDuel has yet to respond to a request for a comment.

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