Daily fantasy sports: Gambling or skill game?

Daily fantasy sports: Gambling or skill game?

The ESPN owned SEC Network has made the decision to stop airing commercials for daily fantasy sports websites, like DraftKings and FanDuel, because they believe these sites are a type of gambling.    



Daily fantasy sports have been under debate recently, as some say it’s a form of gambling, while others believe it’s a game of skill. According to the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, fantasy sports can operate online using real money as long as the outcome is based on the participant’s skill. The CEO of DraftKings, Jason Robins, defended the website on Tuesday, saying that it requires skill to win.   


“They do their homework,” said Robins. “It’s like the stock market. They enjoy looking at something and trying to figure out something that someone else doesn’t see.”


Are daily fantasy sports websites gambling or skill-based? Season-long fantasy sports aren’t considered a form of gambling by many, but daily fantasy sports are a bit different. With daily fantasy sports, results can be decided after only hours of playing, rather than taking a whole season. Transactions may be more frequent with daily fantasy sports, but skilled participants still have the advantage, making it a difficult game to classify.  


“Is it a form of gambling, is it a form of skill game, and I think there is some question about that,” said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. “And I think the appropriate place for us to land as a conference on the SEC Network, again working with ESPN, is not to include that advertising on the SEC Network moving forward.”


As the debate rages on, Massachusetts, Nevada, and California are reviewing daily fantasy sports to decide whether or not it’s a legal practice. Despite the increased scrutiny, Eilers Research gaming analyst Adam Krejcik has estimated that the daily fantasy sports industry will collect $3.7 billion in entry fees this year.     


Are the services these sites providing considered gambling? Should something be done about sites like these or should they be left alone? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.


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