December 2, 2015
SHOULD TRADITIONAL SPORTS GAMBLING BE LEGALIZED? AND SHOULD DAILY FANTASY SPORTS BE REGARDED DIFFERENTLY FROM TRADITIONAL SPORTS GAMBLING?
Every law should benefit someone. However, I can’t figure out who benefits (or who is even supposed to benefit) from outlawing sports gambling. Daily fantasy sports should remain legal, and many restrictions on traditional sports gambling should be lifted. (For what it’s worth, I have mild-to-nonexistent interest in sports gambling – I’ve never tried daily fantasy sports, and I’ve only made a handful of traditional sports bets. I don’t think that would change if traditional sports gambling were legalized.)
Gambling is traditionally defined by state laws as games of chance. And betting on your own skill games is usually permissible (i.e. betting on yourself in pool or darts, etc). How much chance is required to eliminate the element of your own skill is the unanswered question. It seems clear to me that for many, poker, sports betting and fantasy leagues are games of skill with chance included. Hell, some people make their livelihood from these careers. Though, admittedly so, many people do play these games with no skill whatsoever. It seems obvious to me that fantasy betting and sports betting should be in the same category. But perhaps both, as well as poker, should be considered legal, as defined by current NYS and other state laws. Here is an article I wrote on what expert witnesses say about skill related to poker gambling.