Fantasy sports expose flaws in law

There are currently only four states across the country where betting on sports is legal — Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. You’ll notice that not even New Jersey, home of the world famous Atlantic City, is on this list. 

There has been legislation allowing this. The Wire Act of 1961 focused on combating betting on sports outside of Las Vegas using telephones to conduct gambling transactions.

In 1992 the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act banned betting on sports, except in the four states mentioned above.

The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006 prohibits American financial institutions from completing payment transactions for online gambling sites.

Most of these restrictions were focused on the illegal institutions, not the individual players themselves. The same is still true today.

Daily fantasy leagues are the newest way to circumvent gambling laws. The two most popular sites are DraftKings.com and FanDuel.com. The leagues, ranging from a $1 entry fee to more than $10,000, have caught the sports community on fire. Forbes referred to their rise in popularity as a “hyper growth.”

According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association there are a reported 56.8 million players in the U.S. and Canada in 2015. These sites do not to operate in the shady way online bookmakers do.

If depositing on a gambling website like Bovada.lv, your credit card statement will have some hieroglyphic language explaining your purchase of unidentified “digital goods,” and you are told upon depositing not to mention gambling to any financial institution.

The daily fantasy sports leagues can operate more openly because fantasy football isn’t legally recognized as gambling. despite millions of dollars changing hands every Sunday.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who remains the most progressive of the four major sport commissioners, has gone on record saying that gambling is “good for business.”

With a struggling economy, many are leaning toward less restrictive policies for a boost, but for now sports gambling legality sits in a very gray area.