“States have traditionally handled regulation of gambling, supported by federal law in situations where an interstate of foreign element might otherwise frustrate the enforcement of state law,” posited the CRS report. “With respect to federal law, DFS may implicate at least four gambling-related statutes.”
In a savvy legal maneuver, the NYAG has amended its complaint against FD and DK seeking #DFS players’ full restitution for losses suffered on their sites in NY; this brilliant litigation tactic may not work, but it will almost certainly pit 90 + % of DFS players against the sites. I predict that DFS players today will be no different than iPoker players (or most other Americans for that matter) – give me my $ back…!
Saturday, November 14th 2015 — Ian J. Imrich, Esq.
Experts in geolocation — the technique of determining a computer’s location — say that blocking proxies is one of the first, and most straightforward, steps that websites take to keep users from restricted areas off the sites.
By stating in the “terms of service” that users in some regions are not allowed, while at the same time doing little to enforce the rule, online gambling companies around the world often try to have it both ways, said Feda Mecan, a senior official at Playing Legal, a site based in Germany that is devoted to legal gambling in the United States. “I think they are playing that card, to be honest,” Mr. Mecan said.
Then, according to a poker web forum the NYT has reported, a DraftKings employee appeared to provide public advice on how to circumvent geographic restrictions in the United States.
“It seems absurd that a daily fantasy sports operator with financial means would not implement the best possible technology,” Professor Marc Edelman of Baruch College said.
Whether by mistake or perhaps by design, the failure to timely, properly, and regularly employ readily available Geo-Blocking technology to comply with jurisdictional rules in certain States throughout the nation could prove disastrous in the ongoing investigations and pending legal proceedings against of one of the top two daily fantasy sports companies currently operating within the US.
Friday, November 13th, 2015 – Ian J. Imrich, Esq.
The fantasy sports gaming business in the US is almost entirely unregulated. That’s just the way the NFL has always wanted it — until now.
After NFL’s lobbying extensively in late 2006 to get a “carve-out” from the hastily passed Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) — a carve out that the US Department of Justice never supported (and if reports coming out are true) — the NFL is now quickly attempting to distance itself from the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry. See, e.g., NFL is reviewing the entire fantasy sports situation, reports the New York Post.
Why now? Well, here are just a few possible reasons that might help to explain the NFL’s Fall of 2015 back-tracking:
-Legal challenges to the nationwide sports betting ban in Federal Courts are pending and the NFL remains vehemently opposed to any sort of legalized sports wagering (while the NBA by contrast favors regulated sports betting);
-Two major NFL owners could be forced to sell their huge equity stakes within the DFS industry;
-NFL policy strictly prohibits NFL employees or team owners from participating in or facilitating any form of gambling — yet the same prohibitions do not apply to unregulated DFS skill gaming;
Meanwhile, what have Bob Kraft, Jerry Jones, and one major DFS site operator said about these reports? So far, The Cowboys, Patriots and DraftKings have declined comment. Will await to see how long their silence is deafening…
Los Angeles, CA — November 6, 2015
Endemic gaming blogs are now reporting and FanDuel itself has confirmed that it is now applying for a gambling license in the UK vis-a-vis fantasy sports gaming. See, e.g., http://www.legalsportsreport.com/5900/fanduel-uk-gambling-license/?utm_content=buffer93674&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Why Now? (Especially given the fact that FanDuel is — and has been for some time — a UK-based gaming company that has not ever previously offered its DFS services to customers / markets beyond the US and Canada) Because the US market has become increasingly cloudy on the legal and regulatory front – as simple as that.
October 29th, 2015 – Ian J. Imrich, Esq.
The fantasy sports business in the US is largely unregulated. A handful of states have made it illegal to play fantasy sports for money and a few have laws making it expressly legal. None have in place a framework for regulating operators. Concurrently, traditional sports-betting (except for in a handful of States –notably Nevada) is illegal throughout the US.
On the one hand, the NBA has taken a progressive approach to regulatory measures for sports-related gaming activity in the US; meanwhile, the NFL maintains its vigorous opposition to legalization of traditional sports-betting, but seems to have painted itself into a corner regarding its contradictory and hypocritical “skill” arguments with respect to traditional sports-betting as compared and contrasted to fantasy sports betting of the daily, weekly, and other less than seasonal gaming. See, e.g., http://espn.go.com/chalk/story/_/id/13268458/documents-show-justice-department-nfl-argued-skill-sports-betting
FanDuel has now embraced State-by-State regulation in the US in order to protect DFS consumers while DraftKings appears ready to dig in (perhaps emboldened by 2 powerful NFL owner-investors?) and by all appearances will resist any efforts by States to regulate DFS — relying instead on trade association self-regulation. See, http://www.wsj.com/articles/fanduel-ceo-calls-for-government-regulation-1446127412?cb=logged0.2795360852977816
Speaking of powerful sports-related owner-investors, recently, yet another NBA owner has joined two other NBA power-brokers on another sports-related venture: to wit, Ted Leonsis, who now owns the Wizards, the Capitals and Verizon Center, on last Tuesday announced that his Revolution Growth partnership is joining fellow NBA team owners Jordan, of the Charlotte Hornets, and Mark Cuban, of the Dallas Mavericks, in an investment in the Swiss technology firm Sportradar.
Sportradar collects data from more than 325,000 live sporting events across the planet, ranging from darts to tennis and from soccer to snooker. Sportradar digests that data, then sells it to big media companies such as Google and Fox Sports, to fantasy sports leagues, and to gaming and gambling businesses. See, http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/ted-leonsis-team-with-michael-jordan-mark-cuban-in-sports-tech-investment/2015/10/27/84ef7f06-7cd9-11e5-b575-d8dcfedb4ea1_story.html
In any event, with a convergence of sports-betting related investments and other strategic business alliances being forged whilst the consumers, media, and the government simultaneously review the DFS industries, it begs the question — how will these dramatically divergent approaches to DFS (and to sports-betting in general) between two major sports leagues play out as the ongoing State and Federal investigations of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) ominously loom in the background…?
I guess all of us are about to find out…
Changing Tack? A shift in Capitol Hill Internet gambling politics may be in the offing @CKrafik reported earlier today.
Sources told @GamblingCompliance a proposal that would (i) mandate a federal study on Internet gambling and (ii) impose a moratorium on Internet gambling expansion in states that have yet to legalize the activity is being discussed as a possible alternative to the prohibitions set out in S1668 and HR707.
They note that such a proposal would appear to be in line with the recommendations of the Clinton-era National Gambling Impact Study Commission.
It bears noting that a potential US iGaming moratorium on further real money online gaming in all but 3 States which currently have such activity should not be underestimated; to wit, even if New Jersey, Nevada (which is poker-only), and Delaware evolve and become more robust eCommerce markets (a proposition which is doubtful at best) – a moratorium stopping larger States like New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and other larger States (even California which has to date been quite effective stopping itself with online gaming stakeholder in-fighting), the anticipated impact of new credit card codes as well as the expected entry of Poker Stars into New Jersey would likely be greatly minimized.
Thus, except for a few small States that would not be subject to the new prohibition, the moratorium on further online gaming expansion of any type into those populous US states with huge potential eCommerce markets and commensurate liquidity — particularly for peer to peer online poker activity — would largely accomplish the primary goals of a full-scale Restoration of Wire Act (RAWA) prohibition that is presently controversial and not able to gain critical mass for passage on Capitol Hill.
Could a US federal moratorium on expanded online gaming accomplish most of what a failed RAWA prohibition could not achieve? Stay tuned…!