Plunk down $7 on an entry for this week’s NFL games. Or $14 for two entries in a multi-entry fantasy contest. Build your roster with a limited salary. Hope your players fare well. Heck, you might just rake in a cool $250,000.
That’s a typical $1.2 million Sunday pool at FanDuel.com, DraftKings.com and Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy, the main Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) services where players — from various states — can collectively wager on NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, soccer and golf.
While the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006 and forbids gambling on the outcome of specific games, fantasy sports (and horse racing) were exempt from the law, giving operators the go-ahead
to offer daily fantasy contests in the U.S.
So what is Daily Fantasy Sports? DFS is a form of wagering where players each pay an entry fee to enter a pool with other players. The amount of pools can vary tremendously, but players are never wagering against the house (which makes money by simply taking a percentage of all pools). Rather, players build (or draft) a roster of players and then compete against each other for total points. The more points, the better the chance for a payout. This form of wagering is different that straight up sports gambling, where players are betting on the outcome of specific games — and competiting against the house.
Californians have enthusiastically embraced Daily Fantasy, but Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Texas and Washington all have laws against certain types of online fantasy sports.
Interestingly, there is no law explicitly making DFS legal in California.
And for awhile — especailly when FanDuel and DraftKings had little self-regulation — California lawmakers began considering daily fantasy sports legislation in 2015. In fact, in 2016 the California Assembly passed a bill, AB 1437, seeking to legalize, regulate and tax DFS. But the California Senate has not acted on it since then.
For now, it seems very safe to say that fantasy sports contests in California are here to stay. Still, a less-than-progressive governor or attorney general could steer things in a different direction in the future, so it might be best to have something in place fully legalizing it.
So if you’re 18 or older and in California, you might want to think about chancing $7 this weeknd. And hope for your guys to catch a ton of touchdowns.