What Should Daily Fantasy Sports Do Now?
Gambling and the Law®:
What Should Daily Fantasy Sports Do Now?
The two big Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) operators, FanDuel and DraftKings, and their backers, are, in the immortal words of former President George H.W. Bush, in “deep-doodoo.” But lawyers with legal shovels can probably dig them out.
As recently as last year, the DFS industry’s problems were relatively insignificant. As in the early days of Internet poker, operators were making so much money that they could afford to brush off the few scattered questions about the games’ legality.
The explosion of interest in DFS, fed in part by unprecedented massive television advertising campaigns, was bound to raise challenges. DraftKings and FanDuel are more than just important advertisers for ESPN. “In fact, some 59% of the media advertising revenue growth in the last quarter ($134 million) came from the fantasy sites.” But a scandal at the end of September 2015 brought operators attention they did not want, including threats from government officials that the DFS operators would be arrested unless they stopped taking players from Nevada and New York.
The scandal could have been easily avoided. A manager of DraftKings accidentally released confidential information about which real-world athletes DFS players were selecting, and then, perhaps coincidentally, the same manager won $350,000 playing fantasy football at rival FanDuel. This, of course, looked like the DraftKings employee used inside information to give himself an advantage in choosing which players to put on his FanDuel fantasy team.
China’s Gambling Problem
- Parent Category: Articles
Macau is by far the largest gaming jurisdiction in the world. This year, the casinos in this Special Administrative Region of China are projected to win more than all of the privately owned casinos in the United States – about $40 billion. And Macau is not only smaller than the U.S., or Rhode Island; even with its reclaimed land, it would fit inside the District of Columbia six times over, with room to spare.
Imagine what business it could do if it were completely legal.
Not that the casinos are violating any Macanese laws. But restrictions in its main feeder market, Mainland China, mean that inevitably some laws are being broken by individuals and companies who have made this small gaming enclave such a success.
You can start with the patrons. It is against the law for anyone from the Mainland to take out more than 20,000 yuan renminbi, or about US$3,150, in cash. That’s less than $25,000 in Hong Kong dollars: A typical bet in the high-roller rooms in Macau casinos.
So, how are Mainland players getting their cash across the border? The old fashioned way – smuggling.
Guards at most border crossings now just wave you through, if they are even there at all. Spot checks at Macau’s borders with Zhuhai, the connecting city on the Mainland, and at the two ferry terminals and the Macau Airport are extremely rare.
How rare? Players are coming to Macau to gamble. They know they have a better chance of winning a life-changing jackpot on a slot machine than of losing a life-changing conviction for violating currency laws.
Gaming Law in a Nutshell
- Parent Category: Information
Gaming Law in a Nutshell recently published by West Publishing. Written by Professors I. Nelson Rose and Walter T. Champion, Jr., the book discusses all aspects of gambling law, and on all levels: local, tribal, state, national, and international. It covers all forms of wagering, legal and illegal, including casino games and slot machines, lotteries, poker, bingo, sports betting, racing, and Internet gaming. It has separate discussions of many jurisdictions, including Nevada, New Jersey, Macau, Canada, and other countries; Indian and charity gaming; taxes; intellectual property; compulsive gambling; and the most popular forms of gambling.
The publication of a Nutshell marks a significant milestone for Gaming Law. As Prof. Champion put it in his Preface: "To me, the Nutshell is 'graduation day.' It shows that a particular field has the gravitas to merit a victory lap." Authors of Nutshells are always the leading experts in the field. And as Prof. Rose noted, he purposely designed it to be a mini-treatise, to explain the law in a way that would be understandable to anyone new to the subject, or who only knows one part of the field. "It should prove useful for anyone interested in the fast growing and fast changing area of Gaming Law."
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