Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Is Daily Fantasy Sports Becoming Illegal in the USA?

Daily fantasy sports betting has become one of the great ways for fans to bet and make money without a long term commitment. Traditional sports betting would require bettors to follow an entire season, but with daily fantasy sports, bettors can bet on multiple events on any day and win immediately after the event ends. The Wall Street Journal has covered this topic and despite the growing interest and popularity of daily fantasy sports betting, it remains an activity that is under much debate in the USA. The business model of daily fantasy sports betting sites have been investigated and that has raised some questions pertaining to the legality of this form of betting. The arguments from FanDuel and DraftKings, both US based companies, is that fantasy sports betting is a game of skill, Since it is not based on luck, it is exempt under the 2006 UIGEA law. It is still a grey area and it is up to each individual US state to allow or ban daily fantasy sports betting.
Betting sites like FanDuel and DraftKings have been advertising to US residents during football games, since the NFL season has just started. This raised a red flag and the legality of these sites is now being questioned. These billion dollar companies may be a household brand name, but they cannot stay under the radar and the explosion of ads and interest has lead to some serious investigating on whether daily fantasy sports  betting is a form of gambling.
Sports Betting Laws per State
The US has recently loosened the laws pertaining to online gambling, but each state has the ability to legalise or ban any online betting. In Nevada, the gaming board deemed sports betting is considered gambling and fantasy sports betting is not covered under the current gambling laws in Nevada. Nevada does offer online gambling at sites that are licensed by the state. At this time, there are no sports betting sites registered or licensed in Nevada, which means that any form of sports betting is in fact illegal.
In Massachusetts, there has been some upset and misunderstandings regarding sports betting since the popular Boston based DraftKings site has been advertising services to US bettors. Based on a recent article in the Boston Globe, the Massachusetts Law prohibits and form of gambling unless it is allowed by the Legislature. Even with the popularity of sports betting, daily fantasy sports sites cannot operate in Massachusetts legally.
Taking the Daily Fantasy Sports Offshore Online
It is quite evident that daily fantasy sports betting is a topic of great debate. Until the dust settles and the laws are clear, a number of US residents are seeking gambling action offshore. At sites that are licensed and regulated in other countries, bettors can enjoy sports betting and other forms of gambling online. The problem of UIGEA is still there and US gamblers have to find alternative ways to deposit funds at these offshore sites. A number of other countries, including Australia, have created laws similar to UIGEA in hoped of deterring residents from engaging in online gambling activities. However, with the offering of prepaid cards and some ewallets, residents of these countries still have the ability to register at offshore sites and enjoy gambling activities.
Understanding UIGEA

In 2006, the US government passed the UIGEA Act of 2006 and this regulation has been the cause of many problems faces by US gamblers. The Act made it impossible for US bettors to use their credit or debit cards to fund off shore casino accounts. Banks and financial establishments are not allowed to process any payment to or from an online casino for any US resident. However, the recent changes in law has allowed individual states the ability to choose whether they will legalise online casinos and gambling for residents. UIGEA is still in place, which is making it difficult for certain players who are accessing online casinos in states that have legalised online gambling.