DraftKings and FanDuel banned in Nevada



FanDuel and DraftKings both on trial in Nevada on the legality of the gambling.

Fantasy sports are central to entertainment today. Whether it is football, basketball, or even hockey, people love fantasy sports. Many people compete for trophies, plastic WWE title belts, and most important, money. Unfortunately, some sites which are based off of winning cash prizes have been banned in the state of Nevada by the Gaming Control Board.

Sites like DraftKings and FanDuel are the two biggest fantasy sports websites which offer prize money for winning. On October 5th, both DraftKings and FanDuel were exposed with an insider trading-type scandal, where employees for both companies were trading insider information to make more money. During an investigation conducted by the FBI, FanDuel hired former Bush administration attorney Michael Mukasey to investigate the issue. Still, all employees denied any wrongdoing.

To the Gaming Control Board of Nevada, the sites’ argument that the games require skill and not chance is automatically ruled out. Only 45 states allow FanDuel and DraftKings, and the argument used by both companies is the only reason the two sites are still in business. This legal distinction was established by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Femi Wasserman, the Vice President of DraftKings, has been the lead voice for both FanDuel and DraftKings in Nevada.
Femi Wasserman, the Vice President of DraftKings, has been the lead voice for both FanDuel and DraftKings in Nevada.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was established to protect fantasy sports websites and many other online gambling-related industries. This law protects online gambling based on skill, not chance games. However, isn’t fantasy sports all about chance? It’s a guessing game, not a game out of skill. The skill involves the players, not the people gambling the money.

What’s extremely ironic about this is FanDuel and DraftKings raise over $1 billion in Las Vegas, and was the city’s greatest daily fantasy event. Yet, the two companies spent much more than this in advertisement, spending almost $1.2 billion and another $150 million on website advertisements. In short, both DraftKings and FanDuel are not profitable.

Even if the companies are charged, both would only face a fine and the employees involved would serve 30 days in jail. The fine would be the only issue, because FanDuel and DraftKings spend more than they make a year.

Freshman Matt Larkin is a frequent DraftKings user, and is upset that DraftKings is being banned. “It’s people’s money, they should be able to spend it the way they want to.” Even if it is a game of chance, people should still be able to gamble their own money.

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This is Matt’s first week he’s entered DraftKings, and it is understandable where he is coming from. People want to make money, and fantasy sports are the best way to do it. With Matt’s point of view, one can understand how DraftKings and FanDuel can be considered skill games. According to Matt, knowing which players to draft is a good skill.

Junior Mike Wynn also is a big supporter of fantasy sports. Mike is not one who gambles on DraftKings, because it is only a small issue compared to everything. “It’s stupid to even debate this. We have bigger issues than fantasy football.” If a person can bet in a casino, in Mike’s opinion, why can’t they bet in fantasy football?

Mike is looking at the big picture, like most of America. This issue is blown out of proportion and shouldn’t even be a debate. Regardless of the skill element, it’s harmless betting. People gamble, it is going to happen whether legal or not. Fantasy sports have been around for decades now and has been ingrained into American society. DraftKings and FanDuel may be horribly-ran businesses, but the legality of what they do should not be in question. The scandal they were involved in is a big issue, but to try and ban fantasy sports is blown over the top.