By: Divine Amayo
On February 7, 2016, most of America will have their eyes on the screen watching the superbowl. Simultaneously, millions of people will be watching their fantasy league line-up as they try to make winning decisions, based on the most precise statistics that come out for every player.
Fantasy leagues started as a hobby for a small number of obsessive fans, now it’s a multi-billion dollar corporation with over fourteen million participants worldwide according to Julie Lays. The main problem with fantasy leagues is that their model is based on that of gambling, when gambling is defined as anything that is based on chance. The daily fantasy sites deny profusely that they are gambling sites in any way. The CFO of FanDuel Nigel Eccles, a popular fantasy sports site, called their site and what they do as just an entertainment product. He told “ We can show that our games are predominantly a game of skill.” And there are experts who believe that fantasy sports are based more on chance than skills. According to State Legislature,People like the New York general attorney are going on offence against the two big fantasy sports sites Draftkings & Fanduel. The New York general is not the only one against fantasy sports. The state of Nevada considers fantasy sports gambling and has ordered Draftkings & Fanduel to cease operations until they get a gambling licence in the state according to All things considered. However the fantasy sports site continue to insist that they are a company based on skill and are legal.
Draftkings pointed out that under Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), they are technically legal. The UIGEA prohibits online gambling operations, however with fantasy sports each individual state can decide if it requires skill or chance, and on that basis states can decide if it is legal or not according to kohlerandhart.com. Besides the fact that fantasy leagues hide behind the UIGEA law, some fantasy sports fans still view the sport as gambling.
Fantasy sports player Cyrus Birdwalker who found a way to play Fantasy sports without paying anything said “The way I play fantasy sports is not [technically] gambling, but in most ways it is gambling.”
The debate to see if fantasy sports is a game of chance or skill is still going on, so for now players can keep on making fantasy teams, losing money, winning money, because at the moment it is completely legal.