It appears as though the federal government is close to ringing the final death knell on daily fantasy sports.
Sites such as DraftKings or FanDuel have been in the news the last couple weeks for a number of reasons, inadvertently, perhaps, sparking a debate as to whether or not the sites are considered gambling.
Those who operate the sites say no, of course, that theirs is a game of skill. Friday, the state of Nevada ordered a cease and desist for such sites, identifying them as gambling sites. This all reminds me a bit of the debate some years back over online poker. Then, sites like PokerStars claimed theirs was a game of skill. It mattered not, as online poker in the U.S. went bye-bye.
Soon, the same will happen to daily fantasy sports, and I think that stinks.
I've utilized both PokerStars and DraftKings for some low-stakes fun. DraftKings, at least, has added a bit of fun to my football-watching Sundays and if I make or lose a little money along the way, well, that's fine.
Here's the thing: Of course daily fantasy sports is a form of gambling. Sure, it takes an amount of skill, but at the end of the day it's gambling. This shouldn't come as news to anyone, despite what the site operators insist. You put some money down for a chance to win a lot more money. That's gambling, kids.
But, it's interesting to me how a fuss gets made over something like this. Gambling is decried, for the most part, but just about everyone does it.
Churches run Bingo games, for God's sake. That's straight gambling with no actual skill involved, except for listening. Nobody kicks up any fuss over that. It's harmless.
Also, nearly every organization from here to the moon runs raffles as fundraisers. You buy a ticket from the mom in your office in hopes of, perhaps, winning a larger sum or some kind of prize. The organization nets some money, maybe you do, too. What's the harm?
Communities where casinos are, typically, are propped up by gambling dollars.
We're married to gambling as a society, we just want to pick and choose what is allowed and what isn't.
Well, for lack of a more eloquent phrase, that's dumb.
If we want to start a conversation about our society's reliance on gambling, then we can do that, I suppose. But it all needs to be included. Targeting websites like DraftKings or PokerStars for doing what just about everyone else does just seems unfair.
There were allegations of insider trading-like activities and we even saw the word "racketeering" tossed around with regard to daily fantasy sports. That stuff would obviously need to be addressed as criminal activity in any outfit would be addressed.
But to put the kibosh on it just because it's been labeled as gambling is patently silly.
That is, unless, you also want to shut down grandma's Bingo game.
Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at email@example.com or 1-219-214-4170.