Taking a gamble

Fantasy Football: a game of skill or luck?

Editor’s Note: This is part two of two on fantasy football and social interaction.

Fantasy football used to be known for friendly competition, bragging rights, and possibly a little extra cash. Now, the game has been flipped upside down. Each week, millions of users log on and compete amongst thousands to win significant cash payouts. This gambling pool has been legal for quite some time in numerous states. Recently, the story has been different.

Draft Kings and Fan Duel have come under question for gambling
Press Release Photo
Draft Kings and Fan Duel have come under question for gambling

Daily fantasy football has been recently called into question in numerous states. Game websites, such as DraftKings & FanDuel, that host online daily fantasy sports with cash payouts have recently been outlawed in certain states around the country.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, declared daily fantasy sports “illegal gambling,” and that it violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. He states, “Customers are clearly placing bets on events outside of their control or influence.”  This would constitute gambling. It is illegal to gamble in the United States if you are under the age of 18. OHS students are a part of these websites. An underage OHS student said, “Playing on DraftKings has changed the way I view Sundays and has changed the way I watch professional football. Games that were once meaningless now hold the difference of me making $100 or $1000. It has made me a more dedicated watcher of the National Football League.” It can be argued that OHS students may also be more dedicated to gambling as a side component.

ESPN reports, ” New York will join Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Washington as states to ban the use of daily fantasy sports for money.” Daily fantasy sports companies argue that customers are using skill and knowledge to accumulate wealth and not gambling. If prohibited in New York, the multi-billion dollar industry will be losing an estimated 10% of their total market. In efforts to refute the decision, the companies have requested a temporary restraining order, but were denied the request and have been sentenced to an emergency hearing scheduled for Nov. 25. The Attorney General has stated he will take no action against either company until then.

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When asked about the differences between daily and traditional fantasy football, an anonymous student said, “You don’t need to be loyal to certain players. You can do as you please… The world is your oyster when it comes to daily fantasy sports.” Until further action, daily fantasy sports will continue to be played in most states and proceed without many regulations.

Previously, DraftKings and FanDuel were not blocked on the OHS network. Students could be seen setting their lineups during lunch, study hall, or whenever they had a chance. Since October, ISD761 has prohibited the sites from student use. However, underage students will still have access to online gambling until further regulations are instated.