DraftKings might have overtaken FanDuel on some metrics this year but the latter wins by a nose because of its canny approach.

In a market where crazy money is being thrown at advertising, FanDuel wins by playing smarter. It also prevails due to the sensible steps it has taken to mitigate increased regulatory scrutiny and carefully selected acquisitions to enhance and expand its business.

Like DraftKings, FanDuel has significantly expanded its roster of partners and raised investment from high-profile sources in 2015. But it is also the business that has accepted regulation as an inevitability and spoken out in support of stricter controls. CEO Nigel Eccles even drafted the original Fantasy Sports Trade Association operator charter.

This will surely play well with authorities when regulation is introduced. In addition, it has moved quickly to enter new sports, as its acquisition of fantasy eSports platform AlphaDraft shows, while strengthening its mobile capabilities with the purchase of Kotikan and an analytics offering via its numberFire deal.

FanDuel is a winner in 2016 and, despite the headwinds, looks likely to have a great future.

Gaming Intelligence Awards 2016

Sports Betting Operator of the Year: bet365

Poker Operator of the Year: PokerStars

Bingo Operator of the Year: Gala Coral

Social Casino Operator of the Year: Playtika

Casino Operator of the Year: LeoVegas

Lottery Operator of the Year: Veikkaus

Fantasy Sports Operator of the Year: FanDuel

Poker Supplier of the Year: Playtech

Fantasy Sports Supplier of the Year: DraftDay

Sports Betting Supplier of the Year: Betradar

Casino Supplier of the Year: NetEnt

Bingo Supplier of the Year: Playtech

Lottery Supplier of the Year: Scientific Games

One to Watch Award: EveryMatrix

Socially Responsible Operator of the Year: Gala Coral

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