Gambling on the Future of Fantasy Sports

There has been some recent controversy on whether fantasy sports, specifically the daily kind, should be made illegal. Many people are saying that DFS fall under the gambling category. Millions of sports fans participate in the billion dollar industry that is dominated by DraftKings and FanDuel. The fans want to keep their fantasy sports alive. Law experts say otherwise.

In my opinion, fantasy sports have, in a way, gone under the radar for quite some time. There was a law passed in 2006 called the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This law prohibits gambling businesses from accepting electronic payments in connection with a bet or wager. Fantasy sports are excused from this law if they meet certain criteria. These criteria are

  1. Payouts are made clear to users before the game takes place, and the number of users does not determine the payout.
  2. Winning reflects “the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined predominantly” by the accumulated statistics of individuals across multiple sporting events.
  3. Users cannot win prizes as a result of the performance of a team as a whole (say, the entire San Diego Chargers), the outcome of a game, or the performance of a “single” individual athlete.

Daily fantasy sports do NOT rely solely on the skill or knowledge of the participants. There is a great degree of chance involved in the game, as well. Because chance has a huge play in fantasy sports and money os involved, it is gambling. Therefore, DFS do not elude these 3 criteria.

In my opinion, fantasy sports should be perfectly legal, but only in states where gambling is legal. Since fantasy sports involve the betting of money and a great deal of chance, not all skill, they definitely count as gambling. Therefore, only states that legally allow gambling should allow DFS to be played.

My resources

http://www.sbnation.com/2015/11/24/9791608/draftkings-fanduel-daily-fantasy-sports-lawsuit-new-york-internet-gambling

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/10/economist-explains-11

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