Fantasy Sports Business Pushes for Full Legalization
The new campaign is the work of Fantasy Sports Freedom, an industry sponsored advocacy group and is anchored by the snappy catch phrase, “Get involved. Let’s make it legal. Everywhere.”
Fortunately for Fantasy Sports Freedom, that effort is exactly up to par with other gaming legalization efforts. As of this writing, weekly fantasy sports leagues are only illegal in five states, including Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, and Washington.
To facilitate legislative action, Fantasy Sports Freedom is offering residents in fantasy-unfriendly states e-mail templates they can send to their elected officials to urge change.
Given the general confusion about fantasy sports in the US, it’s possible some of these lawmakers don’t even know the activity is illegal in their states.
The goal of the campaign is to get voters in those states to pressure lawmakers to classify fantasy sports as a, “game of skill.” That’s the phrase that makes online gambling palatable to lawmakers and opens new markets to gaming operators.
Even if the effort to expand legalization doesn’t work out, the fantasy sports industry should be all right.
According to Forbes Magazine, the fantasy sports business generates about $800 million on about $3.6 billion in revenue. Earlier this year, FanDuel and Draft Kings reported massive Q4 2014 growth with earnings of $40 million and $37 million respectively.
Legalization issues aside, this new campaign is a big test to see how much political clout the newly powerful fantasy sports industry really wields in the United States.
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