FRONTLINE: "The Fantasy Sports Gamble"

Feb 9, 2016

Credit cironline.org

Michigan’s Gaming Control Board began looking into the legality of daily fantasy sports betting websites like Fan Duel and Draft Kings late last year. Other states are doing the same. Tuesday night, February 9th at 10 PM on WGVU-HD a FRONTLINE and New York Times investigation into the world of online sports betting.

“Next time on Frontline the law: In most countries online sports betting is legal except in the United States. The loophole: The United States Congress carved out a piece of legislation that says fantasy sports is not gambling. I didn’t make that decision, they did.”

“It was exempted on the grounds that it involved more skill than luck.”

New York Times reporter Walt Bogdanich has spent months investigating daily fantasy sports. He’s says it’s up to the states to determine the legal definition.

It’s big business with one fantasy sports betting website saying it signs up 20 to 30,000 new players every day.

“Clearly billions of dollars are involved. The value of these companies are extraordinarily high. There are a lot of people that have invested in the private equity firms, the hedge funds, major media outlets have invested in these companies to the point where they were able to put out probably the biggest ad campaign anyone had ever seen in the run up to the NFL season where they were putting out almost as many ads as there were minutes in the day. Literally, that’s not my judgment that’s from a company that monitors that sort of thing. That just tells you there’s a lot at stake here.”

From the partnerships formed with major sports leagues to the targeting of Millennials and gambling addiction, PBS FRONTLINE in collaboration with the New York Times investigate “The Fantasy Sports Gamble” airing tonight at 10 o’clock on WGVU-HD.