While the debate still rages over whether competing for money in fantasy sports leagues represents gambling or “games of skill,” the number of companies offering the service has plummeted in the last few years. 

Photo

DraftKings

At the highest point in 2016 there were 118 member companies in the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, but now only 37 have not called it quits or fallen out of contact, an Associated Press report by Philip Marcelo writes.

Companies like Fantasy Aces, FantasyHub, and FantasyUp all closed up shop with outstanding debts to players.

Industry heavyweights DraftKings and FanDuel proposed a merger last year, which is under review by the FTC.

Once questions began coming up about the legality of the service, it became difficult for startups to get money from investors, FSTA chairman Peter Schoenke said in the report.

Some states, like New York, regulate the industry and rake in tax revenue, to the tune of $3 million in the first few months in the case of the Empire State.

Demand for the services seems steady as ever, though. Gambling research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming reported $3.3 billion paid in entry fees from 2015-2016, and $350 million in net revenues, 4 and 15 percent increases respectively. 

With much of the industry’s future riding on upcoming legislative decisions, some companies have given increased attention lobbying and political donations. 2015 saw DraftKings, FanDuel and the FSTA spend a combined $500,000 on trying to get on the right side of the law. In 2014, the same organizations reportedly spent only $18,000 for the same purposes.