Reno Gazette Journal – Some of the newest incarnations of fantasy football look a lot more like gambling than intricate, outsmart-your-opponent strategy games.
Since 2011, the billion-dollar fantasy market has been infused with dozens of daily and weekly games. Those games allow players to win huge prizes quickly, sometimes in one week, sometimes in just one night. With players betting thousands or even tens of thousands a night, legal experts believe it’s time to review the section of the 2006 federal law that was written specifically to protect fantasy sports from being banned the way online poker was.
“There’s importance in clarifying the law,” says Marc Edelman, a professor at Fordham Law School who studies the law as it applies to fantasy sports. “As long as there’s uncertainty about the legality of these games, some potential businesses that might enter the marketplace stay out.”
Seasonal leagues are largely the domain of billion-dollar companies such as CBS and ESPN, with close ties to the NFL. For now, they have remained on the sidelines of the short-term business, leaving it largely in the hands of companies such as FanDuel, which is expecting to triple its base to 500,000 fans this season.
“We have the most popular fantasy football game going,” said Kevin Ota of ESPN, which boasts an estimated 14 million fantasy players. “It’s been incredibly successful, and we’re focused on improving our game every year. We always keep our eye on opportunities to serve sports fans better.”