Jon Aguiar, a DraftKings executive, denied his alleged involvement sharing private information about his daily fantasy sports league on Thursday.
In a single tweet, Aguiar opened up for the first time after being mentioned in two New York Times articles accusing him of questionable activity last week. Here’s the tweet and his official statement:
In one of the NY Times articles, Aguiar is described as looking into player information that’s not publicly available and sharing it with a regular player. Another NY Times piece says Aguiar told people in areas that ban daily fantasy sports leagues how to deposit money and play the games without getting caught.
DraftKings had previously not made Aguiar available for comment, according to one of the NY Times articles.
Aguiar’s LinkedIn page shows him as Head of VIP Services for DraftKings, one of the largest daily fantasy sports leagues worth around $US1.2 billion. DraftKings has raised over $US375 million in private funding.
Former poker pro
Aguiar has an interesting background. He was a pretty successful pro poker player for 7 years, before deciding to join DraftKings in its early days back in 2013. In a Reddit AMA session held earlier this year, Aguiar described his role as, “I oversee our live events, VIP customer programs, and work with our contest and customer support teams to help make playing on DraftKings as much fun as possible.”
Daily fantasy leagues like DraftKings and FanDuel have enjoyed explosive growth in recent years, allowing players to legally bet money in fantasy sports. A 2006 law categorizes them as a “game of skill,” not a “game of chance.”
Users put together teams comprised of real-life athletes and earn points based on their actual game performances. A recent McKinsey study showed data proving the winning percentage is heavily skewed towards skilled players.
But over the past month, both leagues have been embroiled in a cheating scandal where employees are accused of using insider information to gain an edge in playing the game. Critics have been calling for tighter regulations, as daily fantasy sports leagues are largely left unregulated, and the FBI is reported to have started an investigation.
On Thursday, Nevada became the first state to shut down daily fantasy sports sites, and require a gambling licence to operate in the state.