FBI Investigation of Fantasy Sports May Freeze Player Cash

FBISealOn April 15, 2011, thousands of Americans who played online poker woke to find three popular websites shut down by the FBI and millions of dollars in players’ accounts frozen.

The online poker industry survived its “Black Friday,” as the day became known, as the Obama administration declared online gaming legal later that year in states that approved it. But the aftermath should serve as a looming worst-case scenario to the millions of Americans who play daily fantasy sports, legal experts say, as many of those players who had money saved in online poker accounts had to wait years before they got it back.

There are a number of possible outcomes for the growing list of investigations into daily fantasy companies being mounted by federal and local law enforcement agencies across the country. These inquiries could conclude – as DraftKings and FanDuel officials adamantly maintain – that daily fantasy is legal, and that a DraftKings employee implicated in allegations of “insider trading” did nothing wrong and gained no competitive advantage.

But if a prosecutor in New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada or elsewhere decides he or she has a winnable case involving daily fantasy companies, players who continue to leave large sums in online accounts risk not being able to access that cash for a while.

More at Washington Post

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