Monday, June 17, 2024

Al Sharpton Issues Sports Betting Warning to the FTC

Civil Rights Activist Reverend Al Sharpton Calls for FTC Action Against FanDuel and DraftKings

Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton is stepping up to challenge the growing dominance of FanDuel and DraftKings in the US sports betting sector. In a letter addressed to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Sharpton expressed concern that the “gambling duopoly” created by these two operators could have a disproportionately negative impact on Black Americans.

Sharpton pointed out that FanDuel and DraftKings currently control about 75% of the online sportsbook market, with the Sports Betting Alliance, which includes other major players like Fanatics and BetMGM, controlling a whopping 90% of the market. This level of control, he argues, poses a significant threat to consumer protection.

Highlighting the disproportionate impact of sports betting on young Black American adults, Sharpton referenced a survey showing that 68% of African or Black American respondents engage in sports betting, a higher percentage compared to other ethnic groups. He emphasized the cultural significance of sports in the country, especially with Black athletes playing a key role.

Drawing on previous legal action by the FTC in 2017 to block a merger between FanDuel and DraftKings in the daily fantasy sports space, Sharpton called for similar intervention to maintain a competitive market in the sports betting sector. He believes that the FTC needs to investigate the anti-competitive behavior of the Sports Betting Alliance and its member companies to ensure consumers have access to a truly competitive market that protects people, provides value, and encourages innovation.

With Reverend Al Sharpton leading the charge, it will be interesting to see how the FTC responds to these concerns and whether any actions will be taken to address the growing dominance of FanDuel and DraftKings in the US sports betting sector.

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