Heavy Losses Lead to Monkey Knife Fight’s Demise

  • Monkey Knife Fight was a daily fantasy sports app that started in 2018 and was then acquired by Bally Sports in January of 2021.
  • After substantial losses were reported by Bally’s North American Interactive Division this year, Monkey Knife Fight has shut down.
  • MKF was the third largest North American DFS platform.
  • Bally Sports is on the fast track to bankruptcy just like their parent company Diamond Sports Group.

PROVIDENCE, RI. – The popular DFS platform Monkey Knife Fight, which was the third biggest DFS company behind only FanDuel and DraftKings, is shut down as of Tuesday. This comes in the midst of various bankruptcies expected to happen to both Bally Sports and their parent company Diamond Sports Group, the previous of which acquired MKF in early 2021.

MKF takes with it various partnerships with organizations like the NFLPA, six MLB teams, three NFL teams, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy, AHL’s Ontario Reign, and lastly PGA golfer Charley Hoffman. Other online gambling sites are expected to capitalize on the 180,000+ registered users that will be leaving MKF.

Monkey Knife Fight’s History and Downfall

Monkey Knife Fight was founded in 2018 by Bill Asher and went into operation in 2019. The company would go on to have massive growth in its first year, winning the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association’s Rookie of the Year and Disruptor of the Year awards.

Following their successful first year, MKF would go on to acquire a big competitor in FantasyDraft and gain their assets and entire player base in the process. This led to them capturing an even bigger market share, being named the sixth most searched brand in sports & entertainment in 2020 and winning the EGaming Review’s award for Fantasy Sports Operator of the Year.

Seemingly on a meteoric rise, Bally’s Corporation would go on to buy MKF from Asher for about $90 million in stock. However, the fireworks would not last for much longer.

On February 15, 2023, Diamond Sports Group missed an interest payment of $145 million on a mountain of debt totaling almost $9 billion. With bankruptcy now on the horizon, Bally Sports itself is preparing to shut down.

Monkey Knife Fight came toppling down soon after. MKF also contributed to a horrible 2022, with Bally’s North American Interactive Division posting net income losses of over $428 million.

Once the fastest growing DFS platform in the U.S. that claimed the third spot behind giants like FanDuel and DraftKings has now been reduced to rubble.

Despite this, Monkey Knife Fight was instrumental in the development of new modern styles of DFS, pioneering the “against the house” style of betting that diverged from the at-the-time standard of salary cap games and head-to-heads.

This innovative style would lead way to a multitude of similar apps and companies popping up and adopting it, such as PrizePicks or Underdog Fantasy. While the community is sad to see Monkey Knife Fight go for good, their contributions to the world of online DFS sites will forever be entrenched in history.