Daily Archives: February 22, 2013

New Lawsuit May Answer Questions about Short Duration Fantasy Gambling

Casino Watch Focus originally reported that a major player, CBS Sports, entered the short duration fantasy market and that doing so, would likely create questions about the practice.  The idea is that each week you place your bet and select a fantasy team to compete against one other opponent in a winner take all scenario.  Each week a player could gamble in a heads up format. Fantasy games have always been considered games of skill as they took place over an entire sports season.  However, given the short-term duration, its being viewed as a game of chance not skill and thus susceptible to gambling legislation.  Or at least that is what a new lawsuit alleges and hopes to clarify.  Forbes online explains:

Most sports fans are probably unfamiliar with the pending lawsuit Langone v. Kaiser & Fan Duel. However, this case is likely to shape the future of the daily fantasy sports industry. Fan Duel claims that its games are exempt from Illinois gambling law because it purports the games are based on skill, not chance – an argument that no court has directly addressed in the context of daily fantasy sports.

On the one hand, Fan Duel’s argument that its games are skill-based has some legal merit.  For example, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has already held in the case Humphrey v. Viacom that traditional fantasy sports games involve predominantly skill because of the complex nature of  the game’s strategies and the negotiations that occur among team owners.

However, on the other hand, it seems hard to imagine that any daily fantasy sports contest fits as neatly into the Humphrey safe haven as traditional fantasy sports.  This is because only traditional fantasy sports allow contestants to “trad[e] players over the course of the season.”  In addition, the number of iterations in traditional fantasy sports games is far greater than in daily games – reducing the impact of a single act of randomness.

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