Fantasy Sports, Like Poker, is Inalienable Right

Published March 18, 2013 by OCR Editor

Fantasy Sports, Like Poker, is Inalienable Right

As battle over online gambling in US grows, fantasy football could be next under attack

Fantasy Sports is a national American pastime as much as watching baseball, drinking beer, or playing online poker, but as the battlelines are drawn over online gambling, it seems this popular activity could be next under attack.

Exemption from UIGEA

Fantasy sports have been around for decades, with participants spending big money on entry fees and cash prizes for winners. When the UIGEA was introduced in 2006 to stamp out Internet gambling, fantasy games were given an exemption under a clause that allows people to wager on games of skill (poker was not so lucky).

Partly due to the spread of the Internet and perhaps partly due to the illegal status of other forms of gaming, fantasy sports grew tremendously, with dozens of sites like FanDuel popping up. Fantasy football led the way, but fantasy baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer followed and picked up tens of millions of users along the way.

Future under threat?

Free fantasy games are still widely available on the Internet, but the lure of big cash has most users heading toward the real-money sites. In fact, according to a study by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the entire industry is worth a whopping $1.6 billion a year - which is no small consideration.

Now, with legal online gambling seemingly on its way to the US market, it seems fantasy sports are at their most vulnerable. Challenges have been made to the distinction between fantasy and gambling in federal courts and Illinois and New Jersey, and support from some pro sports leagues like the NHL seems to be dropping.

The good news

The good news for all lovers of fantasy sports is that the tide is shifting against the puritans. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have all legislated some form of legal online gambling in the past few months, and the next step appears to be a federal law creating uniform regulations across the country.

With this being the case, it will be difficult for anybody to justify cutting out fantasy sports - which, without taking anything away from poker, casino games and other inalienable rights, is completely a game of skill that everyone should have the right to play.

See also

Fantasy Sports Betting Grows In Popularity

Massachusetts Examines Legality of Fantasy Sports Betting

Special Summit EFSS is Set to Get Fantasy Sports Established in Europe Tomorrow

Google Play Adds Fantasy Sports Apps

Viriginia Becomes First State to Regulate Fantasy Sports

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