Should fantasy sports gambling companies (Draft Kings and Fan Duel) be regulated like all other gambling?
That is the question being asked and it is a big one.
Last year the commissioner of the NBA came out in favor of legalizing all sports betting. That was a monumental sea change from previous thinking on the subject.
There is a lot of money at stake and the Sports leagues want a piece of the pie. They see a new revenue stream and they want in.
See when there is money flying back and forth you don’t have to look far to find Billionaire owners drooling at the prospects.
Each year 300 to 400 BILLION is spent on sports betting. The NFL has whole heatedly embraced Fantasy gambling…..kind of.
DraftKings and FanDuel are owned by some NFL owners (Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft). The NFL teams themselves are not allowed to take an ownership stake but the fantasy companies are allowed to advertise in NFL stadiums. Both the NBA and MLB have an owner ship stake in these gambling companies. ESPN and other TV networks also have ownership stakes which is why when you watch ESPN every 7 seconds you hear about Draft Kings and Fan Duel. Those two companies are now everywhere.
Right now these companies are completely unregulated entities and the question is should they be regulated. More and more states are concluding that yes they should be regulated. They are no different then all other gambling. The companies insist what they offer is not real gambling and you need “skill” to win. That is complete horsesh*t and more and more people are realizing this.
Because these are private companies (and are completely unregulated) they do not have to be transparent….and in fact they are not. They claim lots of people are winning lots of money but when asked to provide a list of the winners they never have. Nor do they need to. Because they are private….and unregulated.
This issue has made it to the Presidential debates. Chris Christie has been a big proponent of NOT regulating fantasy sports companies. He thinks this is a not a very important issue.
This is the same Chris Christie who flew on Jerry Jones private jet. Have you ever flown on Jerry Jones private jet? This is the same Chris Christie Who sat in Jerry Jones private luxury Box and watched the Cowboys play. Have you ever watched a Cowboys game from Jerry Jones Luxury box? It just so happens that Jerry Jones has an ownership stake in Draft Kings. Jerry has also contributed $40,000.00 to Chris Christie's Presidential campaign. Make sense now? Just follow the $$$$$.
Draft Kinds and Fan Duel insist their offerings are on the up and up. Yet in October a Draft King employee miraculously won $350,000.00 placing a single bet on Fan Duel.
This little event woke up the FBI and the Justice Department who are now investigating. The companies have since banned employees from playing fantasy sports.
But what is stopping Jerry Jones from playing? He has insider information on all his players. Who it hurt. Who is not. Who is playing. What is stopping him from placing bets? Or him having his buddies place bets? Nothing is stopping him and that is the problem. There are no rules. The system can be cheated. There is a ton of money at stake. That is why this needs to be regulated.