FantasyHub, which has stalled on player payments in recent weeks, announced today that it was temporarily suspending operations.
The site announced the suspension in an email to users sent out Friday morning, in which co-founder and CFO Steven Plappert said FantasyHub is “in discussions with a strategic third party regarding the company and are now finalizing decisions.” He said the lack of detailed information and further comment on the matter was based on advice from legal counsel. The full email is included below.
FantasyHub users began reporting payment issues earlier this week on the RotoGrinders forum. In the last two days, a site representative—presumably Plappert, based on the screen name—has posted two messages, neither offering much information.
On the surface, the situation appears similar to the recent saga at FantasyUp, which folded in January with a notice that it didn’t have the money to refund player balances. Soon after, they were bailed out by the iTEAM network, which manages a cadre of sites with pooled liquidity, and players were eventually paid out.
The differences in this case are that FantasyHub is believed to have a substantially larger player base and, unlike FantasyUp, is an FSTA member.
Real-money operators are required by the FSTA to segregate player deposits and winnings from operational funds, but the organization has no oversight powers over its members nor true mechanisms for enforcement.
FantasyHub launched in December 2014 and is based in Austin, Texas. Its point of differentiation in the industry has been its charity focus, but that has now also been called in to question, with some users reporting that charities appearing on FantasyHub’s page have no relationship with the company.
FantasyHub has yet to comment directly on the matter; as of Friday morning it claims to have donated more than $200,000 to various charities.
Here’s the full email from FantasyHub announcing suspension of operations:
Thank you for your patience. We sincerely apologize for the radio silence over the past few days.
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.
While we can’t say more at this time, we’ll be in touch very soon with full information.
In the meantime, we will be suspending site operations.
Thank you again for your patience and we look forward to reaching out very soon with additional information.