Daily Fantasy Sports Sites Paying Millions to Washington Lobbyists
It turns out that a big chunk of that money is going to high-powered Washington D.C. lobbyists and lawyers.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Fan Duel and DraftKings have already dropped as much as $10 million this year on an army of 78 lobbyists who are blitzing lawmakers with gentle suggestions as to why DFS should remain legal.
These Washington insiders are hoping they can convince the world that daily fantasy sports is a game of skill that’s nothing like traditional gambling.
To the surprise of no one, the daily fantasy sports industry’s full court press is completely over the top and nothing like anyone in Washington has seen before, according to fantasy sports analyst Chris Gove. Gove told the WSJ:
This legislative rush in the first few weeks of the new year is unlike any on gambling that I’ve seen. If all these bills passed you would have just essentially legalized a ton of sports betting that is unregulated and untaxed. I don’t think lawmakers get the ramifications of what they are doing.
Of course some lawmakers see DFS for what most Americans accept it as; legalized sports betting. That includes Iowa State Representative Guy Vander Linden. Linden expressed the view of plenty of state lawmakers when he told the WSJ:
We thought it was a bunch of guys playing season-long fantasy sports in basements, but now it’s major league gambling revenue. We can’t ignore that. We don’t let any business play for free.
If there’s a more succinct description of the daily fantasy sports dilemma than that, we sure haven’t seen it.