Fantasy sports: Skill, gambling, or are these irrelevant issues?

Abstract

The emergence of daily fantasy sports has generated significant debate as to whether it constitutes gambling. Under current US law, States variably determine the legality of daily fantasy sports on the basis of it being a skill-based competition (legal) or a form of gambling where chance plays a major role (illegal). Accordingly, inconsistent State legislations are partly accounted for by differences in the degree to which legislators believe the activity is a game of skill or luck. In the absence of clear guidelines differentiating the importance of skill and luck, operators have been free in some States to operate without regulatory consumer protection guidelines. Regardless of where it fits on the skill/chance continuum, the activity contains structural elements promoting excessive use exposing players to harm. Consequently, it is argued that endeavors to define daily fantasy sports as skill-based or gambling are misguided. The degree of harm caused by excessive daily fantasy sports should be established and in response, harm minimization legislation strategies implemented.

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