Sports Betting Industry Calls for DFS Regulation
Across the nation, lawmakers and traditional gambling stakeholders are calling for more regulation of new-fangled DFS sites.
At the heart of the debate is the question of whether whether daily fantasy sports sites are offering entertainment or straight sports betting?
For the time being, the law seems to be on the side of sites like Draft Kings and FanDuel. They’re currently protected by the fantasy sports exemption of the notorious 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
That law, however, was written when fantasy sports were confined to traditional roto baseball and 12-team fantasy football leagues. At that time, fantasy leagues that paid out on a weekly, or daily, basis were almost unheard of and nothing like what DFS sites offer today.
Still, DraftKings and their competitors stick to that definition and even crow about the exemption on their FAQ’s saying:
Thanks to fantasy sports being specifically excluded from laws affecting online sports betting, FanDuel is not illegal in any way. Trust us, our lawyers drive very nice cars so that we can keep it that way.
One person who doesn’t really care what kind of cars FanDuel’s lawyers are driving is Nevada Gaming Commissioner A.G. Burnett who recently told the Associated Press that he doesn’t think that argument will hold up under scrutiny.
Burnett is not the only politician who holds that point of view.
Earlier this week, New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. requested an investigation of the DFS industry by the House Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee, with a focus on DFS’ connection with sports betting and professional sports leagues.
Pallone, whose home state has an obvious interest slowing down DFS and propping up traditional sports wagering expressed his doubts in a press release saying:
Professional sports deep involvement with daily fantasy sports leaves many questioning whether fantasy sports are distinguishable from sports betting and other forms of gambling.
So far, there’s been no word from the Committee as to whether they’ll entertain Pallone’s request.
One thing, however, is certain. Success draws attention and the DFS industry has certainly drawn the attention of the traditional gambling industry.
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