Like you, the plethora of daily fantasy sports commercials are making me long for the good old days when I had to change the channel so my young son wouldn’t be subjected to seventeen commercials in a row that lead to him asking me if I’ve ever had a four hour erection.
Draft Kings and Fan Duel are the two big players and advertisers in daily fantasy sports. They allow you to wager money that you can pick a roster of players that will be better than the roster of someone else and potentially win a lot of money.
If you read what it is, you might say to your self, “Wait, that sounds like gambling, I thought that’s illegal.” They counter that daily fantasy is a game of skill and isn’t gambling so that makes it legal. Unfortunately for them, Nevada just became the 12th state to disagree with them and banned their websites in their state. The Feds are investigating this issue too and it appears just to be a matter of time before they go from billion dollar companies to illegal. Nevada is saying that these sites need a license to operate in their state which is a laborous and expensive prospect.
Being able to figure out which players are going to perform well in a given game does require some skill as well as a lot of luck. Poker and blackjack also require skill and luck. If regulators are going to state that daily fantasy is legal then they would also have to say that betting on individual games should be legal because there really isn’t much difference between picking a group of players to perform well and picking one team to beat another.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for legalizing all forms of sports gambling. It’s been done for years in Europe and Australia and it’s happening even more so in the States except that it’s done illegally which means the Government doesn’t get to regulate it or make tax money off of it. That is bad for consumers and bad for tax payers.
But until that happens, the laws are the laws. As attorneys, we can’t help you based on what we think the law should be, we can only tell you what it is. That’s true whether you are fighting a speeding ticket or trying to run a daily fantasy website.
So I expect that within the next few months these sites will all be shut down. I don’t think it’s a good result other than it leading to us not being bombarded with all of the ads for these services. But I do think it’s the right result based on how the law is currently written. If they want these laws changed or you want an unfair law switched, you don’t need a lawyer, you need a lobbyist.