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Another DFS site closes, leaving players hanging

Another daily fantasy sports (DFS) site has suspended operations, leaving players without access to their funds.

FantasyHub.com, a smallish operator billed as "fantasy sports for charity," posted on its site Friday that it has temporarily suspended operations and notified players via email.

"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," the email, reviewed by ESPN, reads, "While we can't say more at this time, we'll be in touch very soon with full information."

The announcement followed days of grumblings from FantasyHub players, who said their withdrawal requests had not been processed and they were unable to reach anyone at the site.

Attempts to reach FantasyHub were unsuccessful. The site claimed to have raised more than $200,000 for various charities through its fantasy contests.

During a time when the industry is under heavy scrutiny from lawmakers and politicians, FantasyHub is the second DFS site to close in the last month, following FantasyUp.com. After ceasing operations and notifying players their balances would not be paid, FantasyUp was acquired by fantasy operator iTEAM Network, which took over player balances and ensured funds would be available.

Gabe Hunterton the CEO of iTEAM Network added: "To keep instances like FantasyUp and Fantasy Hub from occurring over and over again, the industry must require complete transparency on handling of customer funds. It's not difficult. You keep the customer money segregated. Then you have an independent firm verify that you've done so. Period. The migration of customers to the new FantasyUp.com has gone extremely well. The customers now know that their funds are secured by the responsible financial practices of iTEAM Network."

FantasyHub is a member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, which requires members to keep player funds segregated from business operations.

FSTA president Paul Charchian told Chalk, "The FSTA is supporting bills and legislation that require third party auditing, and similar to the strong exhortation I gave during my keynote at the FSTA Winter Conference in Dallas, we continually make it clear that it's never okay to spend prize money. The legislation we are proposing in each state also has provisions for regulating and auditing DFS companies to ensure that prize obligations are not mixed with other company funds. We are cautiously optimistic that FantasyHub will find a backer to help them meet their prize obligations."

Several FantasyHub players told ESPN that they had not been able to access their funds for over a week.

"I'm quite concerned I won't see any of that money at this point," said Ryan Clifford, a FantasyHub player, who claims to have a $1,200 balance on the site and requested a withdrawal two weeks ago.