Top 10 acquirer Vantiv Inc. seems to have done that. In the face of increased state scrutiny of daily fantasy sports operators, Vantiv decided to suspend all processing of payments for these firms effective Feb. 29, 2016. Vantiv is said to be the largest provider of acquiring services for these businesses.
Daily fantasy sports is a turbo-charged version of the original. Instead of lasting an entire season, like traditional fantasy sports games, though, participants draft players for teams that play just one game and compete for cash prizes. Several state attorneys general recently issued cease-and-desist orders to the online companies behind daily fantasy sports games, asserting the games amount to illegal gambling. And, in fact, six states have ruled the games illegal.
Vantiv President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Drucker addressed the company’s decision to exit this particular aspect of the business in a Feb. 3 earnings call. “We have decided that it is prudent to suspend processing for transactions involving daily fantasy sports due to the increasingly uncertain regulatory and judicial environment around these operations,” he said. “We may re-enter the space in the future should conditions change.
“In the meantime, we remain firmly committed to processing for online and land-based gaming operators, including state lotteries and other regulated gaming activity where the regulatory and judicial frameworks are more clearly established.”