Daily fantasy sports (DFS) contest providers like Boston-based DraftKings and New York City-based FanDuel are in big trouble.
First, you have the regulators in states like Nevada and New York that have recently ordered them to cease and desist’s operating in their states. (Nevada saying they need a gambling license to operate in the state, and New York via Attorney General Eric Schneiderman).
In order to try to stem the political tide, at least in New York, the two companies filed lawsuits against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in Manhattan on Friday morning, asking that a judge block the state from shutting them down. Then, you have other states, like New Jersey and Illinois, that are considering introducing bills to regulate such firms’ activities.
People are asking all over why this is happening, Well, it is pretty simple, because at the heart of the DFS debate is whether these contests are a game of chance or a game of luck. Therein lie the quandry. It has become the real issue – what will the individual states allow in DFS. Some states are stating that if the outcome of the game is skill, then it is a skill-based game. Others are stating that anything that has any random component at all is not allowed at all.
I say that DFS is actually a HYBRID of both. It has all the features of a lottery and features of skill. Look at tic-tac-toe. You have somebody who may be bad at the game, may randomly drop their Xs and Os and if they are lucky enough, they’ll win.
However, a skilled player could win two-thirds of the time. Similarly, in poker, an unskilled player might win in one game, but lose in a competition against professional players.
The defining factor with fantasy sports is how much distance you can drive between the weak and the strong, even in football or baseball daily over a week, It will look like gambling because the weak players in one day can beat strong ones with reasonable chance, but in the end, it does take a lot of luck for the chips to fall as they may.
I know everyone has an opinion on this, whether it is for or against, and tonight, Saturday, November 14th, I will be doing my radio show “The Mad Scientist’s Sports Lab”, and will be discussing this at length.
I urge everyone that love or hates DFS to come on my show, and voice your opinions. The phone lines will be open at 11pm EST, and I am looking forward to hear the experts and the average player state what’s on their mind. The link to the show is below, and the call-in is 657-383-1442.