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California lawmakers consider legality of daily fantasy sports

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California lawmakers consider legality of daily fantasy sports December 17 2015

Advocates for daily fantasy sports (DFS) websites have put forward their cases to persuade lawmakers in the US state of California that such gaming activities are skill-based and should not be classed as illegal gambling.

The future of DFS in the United States remains unclear following a recent ruling in New York that led to DraftKings and FanDuel  fantasy sports being initially banned from the state after a judge granted an injunction to block both companies from operating in New York.

However, DraftKings and FanDuel were able to secure an emergency stay and will now remain active in the state until at least January 4.

The case has cast doubt on DFS in other states across the US, with Nevada also ruling that DFS companies cannot operate in the state without a valid gambling licence.

Advocates for DFS have now approached lawmakers in California in an effort to convince them that fantasy sports is not illegal gambling, but in a fact an activity that requires a certain level of skill.

Supporters claim that the research and analysis they do before entering contests constitutes an act of skill, while sceptics say that anytime someone can win or lose money based on the performance of an athlete is gambling.

“These are games of skill, skill that rewards knowledge of sports,” DraftKings attorney Griffin Finan said, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Finan also noted that unlike traditional gambling, DFS games rely on entry fees rather than wagers.

California Assemblyman Marc Levine questioned how casual players can win DFS contests if they are based on skill, saying: “How do you justify the marketing? Unless you are pretty sophisticated, you are going to lose your money.”

In response, Peter Schoenke, president of RotoWire.com, a website that moves fantasy content to sites such as the official NFL American football website, said that players can improve their skills as they learn and play more.

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December 22, 2015: posted in News And Reviews No Comments

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