Jonathan Kraft on growing influence, scrutiny of fantasy sports

INDIANAPOLIS-- During his pre-game radio interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Sunday night, New England Patriots president Jonathan Kraft touched on the growing influence of fantasy sports, as well as increasing scrutiny from lawmakers.

"It’s something that I think people enjoy and they play it and congress made it legal," Kraft said. "It’s interesting to me over the last month or so with all the yelling out of Washington about how this is an unregulated industry. Well, they have the right to regulate it. They chose to make it legal and not pass regulation so I think both companies (DraftKings and FanDuel), given what I’ve read in the media, are both willing and I think they welcome the oversight. And what I’ve read of both companies’ CEOs, they’ve said everything should be transparent and open to regulation, which is probably the right next step."

Kraft disclosed that his family has an investment in DraftKings.

Overall, he said, “Fantasy sports is pretty much a part of mainstream culture now in our country and I think it’s a nice element of what we have and I think it should be regulated as well.”

As for how much attention is paid to fantasy sports, Kraft said, "Well, we have our own fantasy product that is a season-long fantasy product. It’s not for money. We have millions and millions of people that participate in leagues that are based on NFL.com; ESPN has leagues; Yahoo has leagues; CBS; FOX, I mean everybody has them.

"It’s clearly, I think, driven the interest beyond just your home team and the teams in your division, to now you know the league better than I think we did when we were all growing up. You know the individual players and the matchups each weekend and trying to figure out who to play and who to start. It only drives fan interest in the NFL from my perspective.”