Judge: Fantasy Sports Aren't Gambling

from the well,-phew dept

All you fantasy sports players out there, relax. You’re not going to get thrown in jail for violating anti-gambling laws. You may recall that, almost exactly a year ago, a lawyer filed a lawsuit claiming that many premium fantasy sports leagues violated anti-gambling laws, as people had to pay money for what he considered “games of chance.” There was some talk that he filed this lawsuit to help show how ridiculous our anti-gambling laws are (basing at least part of the suit on centuries’ old laws), while others thought it was simply a weak promotional attempt by a lawyer who’s practice focuses on gambling laws. However, there was almost universal agreement that the suit he filed had no chance of going anywhere — and if anyone took that bet, they would have won (though, probably not very much, given the odds). A court has thrown out the lawsuit, saying that fee-based fantasy sports leagues are clearly not gambling. The judge notes that entry fees to fantasy leagues are obviously not bets. So feel free to keep on playing.

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Comments on “Judge: Fantasy Sports Aren't Gambling”

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Poke Her says:

Wow, way to break that door wide open

These laws were enacted because of the recent surge in online gambling, yes, but let’s be more specific. Most of these laws were targeted towards online poker. At least, that’s where most of the money was going, so it could be conjectured as such.

Looking at this ruling, one could make a case to allow online poker to continue. After all, while based somewhat on chance, poker is equal parts skill as much as luck.

And isn’t fantasy sports the same thing? If your all-star player gets injured, or you have a bad draft position, things that the player has no control over, isn’t that “chance”?

Even noticing that it’s because the judge said “entry fees are obviously not bets”, does that mean that a poker tournament entry fee could have the same meaning?

Looks like internet gambling is about to get its foot in the door.

Nate says:

I agree, by this logic, online poker tournaments should be legal since a buy-in wouldn’t constitute a bet and you would play the actual game with funny money. I would say poker and fantasy sports require similar amounts of skill and luck (not just luck) to play…gotta love Washington…I wonder if revenues at tribal casinos have gone up since that legislation….

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