Casino Watch Focus reported the emergence of a new type of online gambling known as “penny auctions.” Penny actions are predicated on an online auction system similar to eBay, but the hook is that each time you bid it cost you money. That money is non-refundable and the price of the item only increases when a new person bids. You could by a $500 iPad for $25 dollars, but everyone who bid loses their money. People are gambling a few dollars at a time to win something of much greater value. It flew under the radar because it had the appearance of something innocuous, in this case an auction for everyday items. Much can be said for a new form of gambling stemming from Fantasy Football. This new type of gambling involves short-duration contest, where people compete against each other for cash in what is essentially just games of chance. As Forbes explains, CBS Sports has entered this realm and its risky, illegal potential is certain to be examined:
Earlier this week, CBS Sports launched Playoff Challenge — a new, play-for-cash “fantasy football” game that involves projecting NFL player performance during this year’s playoffs and Super Bowl. With this launch, CBS becomes the first public company to move into the riskiest fringe of the fantasy sports marketplace — hosting cash-based, ‘short duration’ fantasy contests.
The ‘short duration’ fantasy market emerged in the United States in 2009 when start-up companies such as Fan Duel and Draft Street decided to launch daily and weekly player-pick’em contests despite their legal risk.
‘Short duration’ fantasy games differ from traditional games in several respects. Most notably, the length of ‘short duration’ games is condensed — leaving contestants with less time to compensate for a single bad day. In addition, most ‘short duration’ games allow multiple league members to ‘own’ the same player. This feature renders many traditional aspects of fantasy sports, such as trading players and free agency, obsolete. The unique features of ‘short duration’ fantasy games make them more susceptible to legal challenge under some state gambling laws. For example, in many states, courts will find play-for-cash fantasy games to be illegal if they are found to involve more chance than skill.
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