The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

Illegal Gambling Rampant…Maybe

Every fall, millions of football fans around the world reconcile their obsession with professional football with their lacking athleticism by playing fantasy football. While its name conveys immersion in a computer generated world, a la “World of Warcraft,” fantasy football is actually grounded in reality.

Players pick actual NFL players to form their teams and depending on how these players fare in actual games, a fantasy team earns points. Different fantasy teams in a league “play” each other, with the winner decided by point totals after a week of games.

Over the past decade, the game has exploded in popularity – in 2011, 27 million Americans had a team, giving the industry a value of nearly $1 billion dollars.

One might wonder how the money enters the equation, given that the post popular leagues are run through a few large websites like ESPN.com, Yahoo Sports, and NFL.com, none of which charge entrance fees.

So where does the $1 billion come from?

The vast majority of players do spend money on their leagues, but usually deal with the financial aspect in person, free of any online middlemen. The average league consists of a dozen of so friends each paying $10 or $20 into a pool, which is won at the end of the year by the owner of the best team.

Anyone familiar with gambling in the U.S. knows that betting on professional sporting events, like NFL games, is strictly regulated. Additionally, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to gamble, period.

So why do so many fantasy football players organize public leagues that flout the rules, and how do they get away with it? For example, CHS DECA is sponsoring three fantasy football leagues with entrance fees ranging from $10-$20. Surely this is illegal?

Not quite. It turns out that all online gambling is prohibited in the U.S., but according to the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, fantasy sports are legal because they have “an outcome that reflects the relative knowledge of the participants” as opposed to luck.

This specific exemption from the law allows fantasy sports to flourish.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Globe
$0
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clayton High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Globe
$0
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

The Globe intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Globe does not allow anonymous comments, and The Globe requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Globe Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The student news site of Clayton High School.
Illegal Gambling Rampant…Maybe