Here’s The Difference Between Daily Fantasy Sports and Illegal Sports Betting
April 17, 2016
So courts have argued that fantasy leagues are games of skill — that it requires some kind of skill, some kind of knowledge base to put these teams together and go about playing in fantasy leagues — whereas with traditional sports betting, the courts have argued those are more games of chance that don’t require any skill or knowledge base.
But many sports fans see hypocrisy in that distinction. Under the courts and the law, games of skill are legal. “I look at it, it’s flat-out gambling,” Jastremski said of fantasy betting. “People are putting in $100, $50, $5 [and] picking players once a week. John Jastremski, a host at New York’s WFAN Sports Radio network, told HuffPost Live’s Caroline Modarressy-Tehranithat fantasy leagues involve just as much chance as betting on an entire game.
While sports gambling remains illegal in the United States, the lucrative market of daily fantasy betting is thriving. Despite lawmakers’ calls to review the legality of fantasy football leagues, sites like DraftKings and FanDuel are pulling in millions in entry feeseach season.
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about the legality of sports betting here.
So what exactly is the legal difference between putting your money on an entire game versus betting on the individual players you’ve chosen to draft? Sports and entertainment lawyer Jaia Thomas explainedto HuffPost Live on Monday that courts claim the use of statistics and knowledge of players’ strengths and weaknesses constitutes a “skill” that sets fantasy leagues apart from other types of gambling. Games of chance are deemed illegal. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the same as going out there, taking a ticket and putting $50 or $100 on the Green Bay Packers to cover a seven-point spread.”
The courts make a distinction between games of skill and games of chance. She explained:
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