Operators and purveyors have made the pitch regulators of California DFS laws that daily fantasy sports should not constitute as gambling.
In US gambling news, yet another American state is dealing with the constantly growing issue of daily fantasy sports. Attorneys and site operators appeared in California court this week to try to convince the lawmakers that DFS is a harmless game and not a form of gambling.
Griffin Finan, the attorney for popular operator DraftKings, said that because the game relies on entry fees and not bets, and because the customers are not going up against the company in any of the tournaments, that “These are games of skill, skill that rewards knowledge of sports.”
In opposition, assemblyman Marc Levine drew attention to the hypocrisy of DraftKings and FanDuel’s advertising campaigns, in which they claim that any everyman sports fan can win big money in their so-called games of skill. Asks Levine: “How do you justify the marketing? Unless you are pretty sophisticated, you are going to lose your money.”
A counterpoint was delivered by Peter Schoenke, the president of RotoWire.com, which syndicates DFS content with online major league sports websites. Schoenke argued that the more people play DFS games, the more they’ll learn and earn. Winning on DFS requires “judgment-making skills similar to a coach or a general manager,” according to Schoenke.
Hearing for California DFS laws one of many cases in American states
The recent California DFS laws hearing was not the only one of its kind. These days, daily fantasy sports is a mainstay in the courtrooms of states across America, with as many as 20 states set to consider new regulations in the new year.
Nevada has already decided that DFS goes against US gambling laws and booted them out of the state, while New York is in an ongoing battle with operators, with the conflict being led by General Attorney Eric Schneiderman. Other states are also looking unfavorably on the so-called ‘games of skill.’
That said, DFS does have some supporters. Former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley testified at the California hearing in favor of DraftKings and FanDuel, saying that the companies take care to address addictive or compulsive behavior, that they are transparent about entry fees, that they prohibit underage players, and that they pay business taxes.
Said Coakley: “So what would be the rationale to say, ‘We the state of California want, you know, a chunk of this?’ We are a business, we’re going to play by business rules, we do what other businesses do.”