Fantasy Sports Trade Association openly backs Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
Online gambling in the United States remains a hot topic with supporters and opponents going at each other’s throats on a regular basis. The most notorious campaigner against online casinos in the United States is the renowned casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson.
Las Vegas Sands boss has even created a whole organization, Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, in order to campaign and lobby for a total ban on internet games of chance under American gambling laws. The coalition, backed by Adelson’s money, has already been successful in getting two anti-gambling pieces of legislation to Congress, so called Graham-Chaffetz bills. The changes to regulation are still being debated.
The fight for legal online gambling in USA
Online gambling is currently permitted within three states: Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. There are continuous talks about introducing real-money internet gaming in other states as well, and Nevada is also campaigning hard to allow inter-state online poker sites in the United States.
Adelson’s reasons for supporting the anti-online gambling movement are pretty clear: internet gaming will certainly eat into his land-based casino profits, and who wants to give up their livelihood? The 80-year-old billionaire says he wants to “prevent the world’s most vulnerable people from being exploited,” but the real reasons are far more pragmatic than that: money.
More support for Adelson’s cause
Lots of politicians and high-powered figures in the land-based gambling industry have already joined the views of Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. And while they are fighting against an army of ordinary consumers who’d like to enjoy an evening of quiet, but most importantly legal online poker, the number of those who want to close down such peaceful operations is growing.
Fantasy Sports Trade Association joins Adelson’s anti-online gambling cause
• Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling seeks to change American gambling laws
• They are looking to ban all online gambling activities
• Adelson is spending a great deal of money on lobbying
The latest one to join Adelson’s CSIG ranks is Fantasy Sports Trade Association. This body represents almost all of the fantasy sports industry in the USA. And now together with Las Vegas Sands tycoon they want to ban online gambling by bringing back the Wire Act, a move introduced before Congress earlier this year by Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Jason Chaffetz.
You might think that fantasy sports and online gambling are kind of similar, and of course you are right in a certain sense. However, the most interesting part is the fact that Graham-Chaffetz proposals leaves fantasy sports online activities unaffected by the ban on gambling.
It has been reported by a Washington publication that Fantasy Sports Trade Association went as far as to hire Dentons law firm to assist them in “…issues that may affect the fantasy sports industry and legislation related to gaming.”
To go even further into detail, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association is specifically supporting the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, a piece of legislation which will put poker, casino, and any other online gambling activity opposite to the law.
Fantasy football, the most popular one, and other fantasy sports are currently legal in the United States. The online gambling banning bills, which are currently at committee stage in both houses of Congress, will not touch fantasy sports.
Fantasy Sports Trade Association
The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) is based in Chicago and has over 170 members including the likes of USA Today, Yahoo, CBSSports, and other companies and organizations from small to large. The body has already attempted to distance fantasy sports from online gambling, with a claim that skills and knowledge are required for fantasy sports, rather than blind luck. Another point the association is always making is that fantasy players are never pursuing money or prizes.
The association is the largest organization representing fantasy sports industry not only in the US, but worldwide as well. It was established in 1997 and has always been the leader in supplying useful demographic and other data, hosting annual conferences and other collective events in order to ensure the growth of the industry.
The FSTA was in the middle of tensions which arose between fantasy sports companies on one side and professional sporting leagues together with players associations. The disagreements were over the rights to all the players statistics and profiles.
The FSTA was arguing that intellectual property laws didn’t apply to the statistics used in fantasy sports. U.S. District Court Judge Mary Ann Medler went on to rule that sporting statistics belonged to the public domain and can be used freely and at no cost by anyone including the fantasy sports companies.
Is there any chance Adelson’s movement will succeed?
With the kind of money Adelson can shell out on lobbying causes it’s hardly a surprise the two pieces of legislation have been taken on so quickly by Congress. However, the chances of a total ban on online gambling in the United States are pretty slim. Considering there are already three individual states allowing it, and more are keen to jump on the bandwagon.
The faith of the federal online gambling is under doubt, however, but ordinary gamblers and industry experts with some sense of understanding agree that inter-state clauses can appear in the very near future.