Game of Chance or Game of Skill?

It’s time to round up the troops, or should we say the Federal Trade Commission? Daily fantasy sports have sparked a recent uproar prompting authorities to pursue regulation practices in the fantasy realm. In the past, Fantasy sports have been viewed as a harmless pastime, but now it’s starting to look more like an addiction as some players have professional gambling backgrounds.

“[Daily fantasy sports] has morphed into today’s cauldron of daily betting,” says one U.S. Congressman. So if these sites are believed to be forms of gambling, why hasn’t anyone gotten in trouble yet? Even though laws vary by state, these competitions that players buy into and make money based on the performance of their hand-chosen athletic lineups have been considered games of skill, not gambling; therefore, the regulation has been deemed unnecessary.

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Zia Morales | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In most recent news, a DraftKings employee published private information about a contest by accident last week, increasing trepidations that he may have used that information when he won $350,000 at rival site FanDuel—yes, you read that right—in a previous bet. The two fantasy sports mediums have taken the proper steps by hiring lawyers to review their internal policies and prohibiting franchise employees from playing contests for money.

Just when you think that one employee’s winnings are huge, wait until you hear this: big time investors such as KKR & Co., 21st Century Fox Inc. and Major League Baseball have attracted players to the games on both DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. to rack in a whopping $575 million—just in July. No wonder the government feels like they’re missing out. Check out this video about the government getting involved in ‘fantasy biz’ here:

Following that, a CNBC video of Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., reveals how strongly he feels that sports’ betting is primarily “dealt largely through organized crime,” but he wants to bring it out of the shadows, so the state can at least make some income off of it—as do other state representatives like Robert DeLeo (pictured below). Pallone has recently taken this to the FTC to investigate whether daily fantasy sports are guilty of being an ‘unfair or deceptive practice.’ Watch the full video here:

House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he thinks Massachusetts should get its ÒFair shareÓ of wagering revenues from fantasy sports sites. AP FILE PHOTO

House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he thinks Massachusetts should get its ÒFair shareÓ of wagering revenues from fantasy sports sites.


Fortunately, the pros of regulation heavily outweigh the cons. Let’s take a look at a few shall we?


-More accountability for daily fantasy companies

-Creating fair and equal practices for the players

-Inefficient method of self-regulation will be eliminated

-More transparency gives consumers better idea of their risks when they play (so many players don’t realize that most of their money goes to a handful of skilled gamblers because they know how to beat the system)

-Reducing false advertising that often show “average Joes” beating the odds to win millions; which rarely happens

-Professional employees who work for these sites won’t be able to share or sell confidential info to big-time players without facing “criminal or civil backlash;” once again—promoting fairness.


Con—yes, just one; for now:

-Who should actually gain control over regulation—the industry, government or completely separate entity?

Going off of who is best suited to perform industry regulations…Seth Young, C.O.O. for Star Fantasy Leagues, believes that “a regulator without ties to daily fantasy operators will serve the industry best.” Young’s logic appears to be the best thus far.

Find out how they plan on regulating here:


These sports fantasy sites, growing at exponential rates in which this year there will be about four million players, have stepped into a bigger spotlight through their recent advertisements and sponsorships at the beginning of the National Football League season. According to estimates by TV analytics firm, these two companies have invested more than $100 million to television networks combined since the start of September. While the financial status of the entry fees look promising for these companies, the industry is still in need of more transparency. A sports and gaming attorney, Daniel Wallach, agrees that “there’s a cure and the remedy is regulation.”


So, what do you think? Are fantasy sports all chance or all skill? Regulation day is coming…


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