Better Beware: Fantasy football company employees bet at rival sites skewing data, use inside info

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How the whole fantasy football thing gets around the ban on online gambling in the US I’d like to know. It sure looks like online gambling to me. Not that it shouldn’t be completely legal. Just that if we poker players don’t get to play online how come the fantasy football guys get to?*

Regardless, it looks like fantasy football is struggling with some of the same issues which plagued online poker. (Back when online poker was legal.) Specifically that one must take a leap of faith when gambling online. One must believe that the outfit one is gambling through is on the up and up. It appears, according to this article, that many fantasy sports sites are not and that gamblers are falling victim to fraud.

Every player knows that this could be the case. But people bet anyway. That is their choice. But betting with a rigged casino is a losing bet. Heck, betting with a non-rigged casino is mostly a losing bet.

Perhaps it’s best just not to lay down a wager at all.

That is where the choice is. If one wants to gamble, by all means. But accept the risk, the very real risk that one is being swindled.

The New York Times frets that the industry is “unregulated.” In other words that the government isn’t getting a large enough piece of the pie. Because online poker actually threatened casinos, online poker was killed instead of milked. (Casinos sort of hate poker in general anyway, even in their establishments. They don’t make much money on games relatively speaking. The money mostly moves between players and involves too much skill.)  With fantasy football the NFL and even NFL team owners have a stake and as such fantasy football isn’t likely to be banned outright. Better to call for “regulation.” Time to get paid.

(From The New York Times)

A major scandal is erupting in the multibillion-dollar industry of fantasy sports, the online and unregulated business in which players assemble their fantasy teams with real athletes. On Monday, the two major fantasy companies were forced to release statements defending their businesses’ integrity after what amounted to allegations of insider trading, that employees were placing bets using information not generally available to the public.

The statements were released after an employee at DraftKings, one of the two major companies, admitted last week to inadvertently releasing data before the start of the third week of N.F.L. games. The employee, a midlevel content manager, won $350,000 at a rival site, FanDuel, that same week.

“It is absolutely akin to insider trading,” said Daniel Wallach, a sports and gambling lawyer at Becker & Poliakoff in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “It gives that person a distinct edge in a contest.”

Click here for the article.

*It appears that fantasy football got a special “carve out” when online gambling was banned by Congress in 2006. Shocker.