DraftKings Comes Under Fire Following Collusion Scandal Involving “Bachelor” Stars

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Two stars from “The Bachelor” are facing allegations that they colluded in a DraftKings contest to win $1 million, adding to the controversies that the daily fantasy sports industry is facing.

Jade Roper-Tolbert won $1 million in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker involving the NFL playoffs. She entered 150 lineups, which is the maximum number allowed for a single contestant. Tanner Tolbert, her husband who she met while filming “Bachelor in Paradise,” also entered the same contest with 150 entries. However, it is alleged that none of their entries duplicated each other, with some arguing that the two colluded to enter 300 unique entries in the contest. Though this only would give the couple a small advantage, it is notable considering that the contest only involved the player outcomes of four NFL playoff games.

In response to these allegations, DraftKings has said that, while it has not launched a formal investigation, it is reviewing the contest. In a statement, a spokesman for DraftKings said, “As we do with all major contests, we are undertaking a review to ensure that the top finisher complied with our terms of use, community guidelines and applicable state regulations before awarding any prizes.” Notably, the runner-up in the Millionaire Maker contest has retained sports attorney Alan Milstein, suggesting that litigation will soon follow.

This controversy is comparable to one that occurred in 2015, in which employees of daily fantasy sports companies used inside information to compete in contests. That scandal led to numerous lawsuits and the enactment of legislation in several states, including New York, to further regulate the industry. Issues from the 2015 scandal remain ongoing, as massive litigation against DraftKings could be moving from arbitration back into federal court.

The scope of this current controversy is smaller than the 2015 scandal, as it does not appear that either DraftKings was hacked or that inside information was used. However, collusion in fantasy sports contests may be widespread and undetectable. The fact that the winner of the DraftKings Millionaire Maker contest was a reality TV star has brought more public attention to this issue. We will continue to monitor the situation.