The Gaming Control Board Focused on the Fantasy Sports


Posted: August 5, 2015

Updated: August 5, 2015

The fantasy sports legal regulation is in the focus of the Gaming Control Board in the United States.

According to many online gambling sites in the US, it is very probable that the Gaming Control Board in the country will impose some measures for stricter control of the daily fantasy sports in the upcoming months. The fantasy gaming industry is considered to be one on the rise. A lot of time has passed since 2007 when Randall Sayre, representative of the Gaming Control Board, went out in the public saying that the fantasy gaming betting has just a limited interest.

• Fantasy sports industry rapidly expanding
• Gaming Control Board prepares new regulation
• Situation similar to poker in the 90s

After the Board received several requests from companies for approving the fantasy sports games, in the first place football, Sayre responded: “Games based on numbering schemes or associated with what is known as ‘Fantasy Football,’ by definition, do not qualify as athletic events and therefore any wagers thus associated would be considered to be prohibited per Gaming Regulation 22.120.” Yet this does not prevent any licensed sports provider from making traditional wagers which will have a point system according to criteria that are specifically defined by a licensee and are which are available within the book. And this was all that the Gaming Control Board had to say back in 2007 when they concluded that there is only an insignificant interest in the fantasy sports.

Problems with the legal status of fantasy sports

Nowadays, as online gambling news in the US stress, the fantasy gaming industry is expanding and present on some of the majoy online information providers in the worlds. In the beginning of this month, for instance, Yahoo Sport launched its daily fantasy sports service on their home page. They are now focused only on the games in the Major Baseball League but are planning, as they say, to broaden its offer starting from autumn with games from the National football league, the National Hockey league and the National Basketball Association. But this is only part of the story. The major sports leagues in the US are also willing to grab as bigger piece as they can from the industry called “fantasy games”, signing contracts with the biggest fantasy games providers in the States. How this trend can be regulated by the rigid rules of the Gaming Control Board?


Not only fantasy sports make money of the leagues, profit goes both ways

After the indifference shown back in 2007, the three Board members are now considering the issue with lots of attention. From sources close to the Board it is known that by the end of this year the policy concerning the fantasy games will be updated. Greg Gemignani, lawyer from Las Vegas, who holds a reputation for being very well familiar with the internet gambling policies, says that the interest of the Board in examining the issue of fantasy game in just a result of the current comments about them in the public. The Board defines its priority according to what the public is interested in given moment. They do not have a special strategy for regulation of the issue that will be imposed.

Are fantasy sports in the same situation as online poker in the 90’s?

According to many the situation with the fantasy sports games reminds of the situation of the poker in the 1990’s when their legal status is concerned, gambling news report. However the development of technology had a huge impact on the change of the legislative in general and many think that this will be the case with the fantasy sports too. As Jack Binion, former owner of Horseshoe thinks: “The World Series of Poker would probably still be a small event if technology had not made it possible to create big television deals.” And he might be right. The thirst for sports programming by the televisions worldwide have definitely contribute in a great part for the rise of the fantasy sports games. In the US this might be an indication about the demand for sports betting that is on a very high level.

Few days ago GamingZion published an article in which we expressed our concern with the legal status of the fantasy sports. However what we think is the case is whether one will see the fantasy games as games of luck or games of knowledge and skill. The law in the United States is clear. The game is not considered as gambling if there is “an outcome that reflects the relative knowledge of the participants, or their skill at physical reaction or physical manipulation (but not chance), and, in the case of a fantasy or simulation sports game, has an outcome that is determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of sporting events, including any non-participant’s individual performances in such sporting events.”

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