Daily Fantasy Sports and the Hidden Cost of America’s Weird Gambling Laws
"An entire industry has emerged out of a legal loophole for something that looks a whole lot like sports gambling, which is illegal outside of Nevada and a few other states.
"The fantasy sports industry argues that its service is not gambling at all, but rather a game of skill. It’s the sort of game specifically allowed by most state laws and by a 2006 federal law restricting online gambling that carved out protections for fantasy sports leagues. The industry is right about that much. It is a skill, and it unquestionably rewards those who apply dogged analytics to assembling their fantasy lineups.
Although daily fantasy sports advertisements target casual fans, a disproportionate share of the contest entries — and even more disproportionate share of the winnings — go to people who play the game on a scale most armchair sports fans couldn’t imagine. An analysis of Major League Baseball contests by Ed Miller and Daniel Singer published in the Sports Business Journal found that 1.3 percent of fantasy players paid $9,100 in entry fees on average, accounting for 23 percent of all entry fees and 77 percent of all profits."