Daily Fantasy Sports Company FantasyHub 'Temporarily' Suspends Operations
February 24, 2016
Daily Fantasy Sports Company FantasyHub ‘Temporarily’ Suspends Operations, Claims Talks with “Strategic 3rd Party, Leaves All Players without Account Access
FantasyHub, a Daily Fantasy Sports website, has completely shut down, leaving players with little warning and no ability to access their accounts. This has left the thousands of fantasy sports players using the site without the ability to withdraw their digital funds.
FantasyHub’s unique utility was that it gave its players the option to give winnings to charity organizations. It also held contests with prizes that went specifically to philanthropic groups.
Prior to the announcement, players had expressed their troubles making withdrawals on the RotoGrinders forum, stoking fears of a collapse. “Nothing I have read from [StevenP, FantasyHub representative] has made any sense or given me reason to think this will end well. Even if they pay us and manage to stay in business (highly unlikely, imo) [sic] I will never play there again.”
The official FantasyHub announcement came on Friday, February 19, on the company’s public website. “FantasyHub has temporarily suspended operations,” it read, offering only the vague statement that “Further updates have been made via email” and cryptically stating that it was “currently in discussions with a strategic 3rd party regarding the future of FantasyHub & its players.”
Said email offered no less clarity. “Thank you for your patience. We sincerely apologize for the radio silence over the past few days. Due to advice from counsel, we cannot divulge many details but we have been in discussions with a strategic third party regarding the company and are now finalizing those discussions. While we can’t say more at this time, we’ll be in touch very soon with full information.”
In addition to freezing the front end functionality of its entire platform, FantasyHub has also left its advertisers high and dry. Daily Fantasy Cafe, self-styled as “one of the largest daily fantasy sports communities online,” has opened legal proceedings to recover funds paid for ad space. “We have filed suit in order to collect outstanding invoices for advertising totaling more than $14,000,” wrote Sam Shefrin, member of Daily Fantasy Cafe and of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
FantasyHub is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, a group which compels its members via charter to separate player and operational funds. Violation of this rule is punishable by loss of one’s member status, but otherwise, the FSTA does not primarily endeavor to fill an enforcement role in the DFS industry.
FantasyHub is not the only DFS operator to have shut down under shady conditions. FantasyUp, a similar DFS company, also went belly up in January. After months of dragging service, FantasyUp emailed its players, writing about money troubles: “Our sincere apologies that we cannot process withdrawals, as the Company does not have the funds needed to process the withdrawals to all customers.” FantasyUp was since absorbed by the iTEAM Network and players’ accounts were reinstated.