NEW YORK (TheStreet) --With Week Two of the NFL season kicking off last night, online daily fantasy sites such as FanDuel are back in full-swing.
FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles joined this morning's "Squawk Alley" on CNBC to discuss legality issues surrounding daily sports fantasy leagues, as well as the possibility of a merger with DraftKings, its biggest rival.
The number of people who play fantasy sports in the U.S. and Canada alone in 2016 was 57.4 million, according to FTSA (Fantasy Sports Trade Association). Fantasy applications like FanDuel harness that user base and create a game format in which users can select various lineups on a week-to-week basis and compete to earn cash prizes.
The complication, however, is that sites such as FanDuel are facing significant legal questions. Some states have banned these fantasy games, saying they're a form of illegal gambling.
"We're online in nearly 40 states. We're back online in New York after obviously having to go offline earlier this year. We passed legislation in New York, passed legislation in Massachusetts, and other states this year. We're online in nearly all the large markets," Eccles told CNBC.
Moreover, he noted that FanDuel did see a loss of its user base last year as people began to question the legality of the site. Eccles says the company has focused on re-branding to rectify the damage that resulted.
"It was a bit of a reset this year, we're on a journey back to rebuilding trust, and that brand. I'd say last year was really about awareness, but we didn't do a good enough job of explaining the product and why people play it," he said.
Additionally, Eccles commented on why FanDuel has yet to combine forces with its largest rival DraftKings.
"The biggest threat to this industry does not come from each other. It comes from people outside the industry killing it. We've had discussions for a long time, I can't make any forecasts. Yes, it's always going to come up. If it were better to do this together, then you would do it together but, even today we cooperate very closely," he explained.