Nevada tells daily fantasy operators to “cease and desist”

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[Editor’s note: FanDuel is an advertiser of PFT and PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. Also, NBC Sports has an equity stake in FanDuel.]

Another day, another potential jackpot for an industry that has paid out plenty of them.

According to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today, Nevada has determined that daily fantasy constitutes gambling under state law, bringing such contests within the parameters of the state’s gambling regulations.

“Since offering DFS in Nevada is illegal without the appropriate license, all unlicensed activities must cease and desist,” declares a notice released by the Nevada Gaming Board.

Although Congress concluded in 2006 that fantasy sports do not constitute gambling, each state can make its own determination. Currently, daily fantasy operators avoid Montana, Louisiana, Arizona, Washington, and Iowa.

While federal law doesn’t regard daily fantasy as illegal, the federal Illegal Gambling Business Act applies when gambling operations of a certain size violate the laws of specific states. That’s the gist of a current federal grand jury probe in Florida.

In Nevada, daily fantasy operators can now pursue the appropriate licenses or challenge the finding. The status quo entails plenty of risk, especially with folks in Nevada likely feeling threatened by the reality that folks can lose their money playing daily fantasy when they could instead be losing their money on the casino floor.

This new development comes in the wake of news that the FBI and the Department of Justice are investigating the daily fantasy business model. Meanwhile, DFS continues to generate plenty of interest and revenue, with users in some states possibly deciding that they’d better play while they still can.

61 responses to “Nevada tells daily fantasy operators to “cease and desist”

  1. Congress? Corruption of the highest degree. The declared DFSs weren’t illegal because the NFL told them to. Meanwhile, they declared online poker is illegal because Sheldon Adelson told them to. Notice a pattern?

  2. They were greedy. The saturation of advertising led to this. They could have just quietly made profits but they went crazy shoving it down everyone’s throats. Good riddance.

  3. The NFL is involved with this somehow….way too much advertising, even the halftime shows talk about these fantasy operators……something aint right……

  4. What’s the NFL going to do when DFS is declared gambling considering their “feelings” on gambling in general?

    Should be fun to watch, lol.

  5. These companies were too greedy and they started cutting into Vegas’s profits. Fan Duel and Draft Kings are going to learn very quickly that you don’t mess with Vegas. Nevada will payoff ever politician possible to make this illegal across the country

  6. How does all of this affect the game ? None.
    So there’s a 2 year investigation. There’s so much money attached to fantasy sports that somehow they buy the votes to keep it legal.

  7. canetic says:
    Oct 15, 2015 10:57 PM
    They were greedy. The saturation of advertising led to this. They could have just quietly made profits but they went crazy shoving it down everyone’s throats. Good riddance.

    Do you honestly believe that the government was unaware of Fan Duel and Draft Kings before they saw the advertising? You have a very naive view of how our government works.

  8. I’m still debating whether DraftKings and Fan Duel are real. Hard to believe but they are now all over the place. Someone said it best, you don’t mess with Vegas and their money.

  9. They just now determined this was gambling?
    This is blatantly gambling, has always been gambling, and should be regulated as such. I’m sick of the special interest loopholes lobbyists ram through Congress.

  10. Anything to put an end to this nonesense, I am in. Simply put, you can’t be advertising on TV telling our kids to go out there and gamble all the money.

    It’s plain and simple gambling and should be regulated as such.

  11. sasattack says:

    Congress? Corruption of the highest degree. The declared DFSs weren’t illegal because the NFL told them to. Meanwhile, they declared online poker is illegal because Sheldon Adelson told them to. Notice a pattern?

    This post is spot on. Sheldon Adelson finds himself as the last casino owner to invest in Internet poker? Well, then he must oppose it, purely on ethical grounds of course.

    A man of great moral standards, whose only interest is the general public’s. And if you believe that about a casino mogul, well, then I have a mighty fine bridge to sell you for a cool million. Price is negotiable, as long as you pay in cash.

  12. What is the outlier among Nevada, Montana, Louisiana, Arizona, Washington, and Iowa? Five out of six are red states. Whom all outlawed fantasy football. Sense a trend?

  13. Don’t mess with Nevada. That being said daily fantasy will just go ‘overseas’ like everything else and keep on trucking.

  14. So if I move to Montana, Louisiana, Arizona, Washington or Iowa, can I avoid all of the in your face advertising for this crap? If so, I may strongly consider it. Maybe I’d even visit CFT again.

  15. It starts like this and then will end with being regulated and taxed heavily, like all the rest of us!

  16. OK, it’s gambling. You are betting money on a result. End of debate.

    WEEI, for one, has an ad every 5 minutes it seems. “Get your share of 2 Billion” or “a $2 bet won $10000” Their whole Saturday AM programming revolves around FF. Then they turn around and launch a 4 day campaign against Alex Guerrero. Not saying he’s a good guy rather that WEEI’s on air personalities in this case are huge hypocrites with feet of clay.

    Gambling is responsible for lost jobs, lost savings and the destruction of families. Sure some will win but these companies don’t ever pay out anywhere near what they bring in. It targets those who can least afford to lose with promises of fortune. Even Vegas doesn’t sink to this level.

  17. It’s not the NFL, it’s every sports media outlet that appears to have a stake in this.

  18. There is lots of money being made here. Anytime this happens, people want their cut. Vegas is being hurt, they want their money back. Politicians at all levels see new revenue streams and they want a cut for their Campaigns, “Initiatives” , Tax Revenue and whatever other ways money goes from one pot to another. The NFL, TV networks, Radio, Ad Agencies, Internet sites all getting a share . Great opportunity to put some lawyers to work with lawsuits , defense and lobbying.

  19. Yet another thing (fantasy football) that started out wholesome, fun entertainment and then gets warped and perved into an overhyped vice by two annoying, annoying brands peddling irresponsible promises of riches to salivating idiots.

    Wait til the Dateline and 60 Minutes sob story exposes (“I was lied to/I lost my house/kids college money/entire pay checks/family”) begin when duped oafs claim they are broke because of those FD/DK liars!

    It’s coming. As is the beginning end for these bozos. DC is warming up in the bullpen to take them out. I say good riddance. Room for more commercials.

  20. Why are we even talking about this in 2015?!? The only people that think gambling should be illegal are ultra-conservative religious fanatics and those who can profit from less competition in the gambling industry.

  21. I am completely sick and tired of seeing a never ending stream of commercials for these fantasy leagues.

  22. start rant..

    This is starting to get as out of hand as the advertising for these sites. Look, I have played on both sites now for a year in MLB, NBA, PGA, NHL, MMA and the NFL. I have never won more than $250 and maybe it’s just me, but I never expected to win that much to begin with. It’s supposed to be another fun way to enjoy the game, just like yearly fantasy (it actually made me a fan of the other sports for the first time since I was in high school). What people also fail to realize is that you can set up private leagues and just invite people you know. Our season long league does a daily league each week. I am sorry that some people are too weak and lack any discipline when it comes to gambling but it doesn’t mean the rest of us should suffer. If I had to guess, I’ve maybe lost $100, including my winnings, in a year. I’ve crapped away more money than that on random junk that I didn’t need in less than half that time. For the life of me, I cannot understand why grown adults see an advertisement for something on TV that says they “could” win millions of dollars and aren’t smart enough to see the “could” in that statement. It’s comparable to when the loons line up for lottery tickets just because the jackpot hits a couple hundred mil. Newsflash, you a’int gonna win.

    end rant.

  23. jvw1982 says:
    Oct 15, 2015 11:13 PM

    You sound like Mel Gibson in the movie “conspiracy theory”, relax. This isnt some big ponzi scheme by the NFL, good lord. Some ppl made up a way to make money, thats it. We all play fantasy so we cant argue, we choose to put our money down on it, just like ppl go to a casino.

  24. I know this gets said in all of these stories, but to be sure. There is no way this isn’t gambling. Yeah there takes skills, but there also takes a lot of luck in this as well. I think to sit down at a poker table over the course of an evening requires more skill than to be the #1 DFS lineup on a given Sunday.

  25. This not online poker 2.0 – the federal standpoint is that fantasy sports are not illegal gambling under the act. That alone distinguishes this example from online poker.

    From a federal standpoint – fantasy sports are not illegal gambling and as long as the daily fantasy sites do not process payments from states that have determined it is illegal, this will not be online poker.

    The only way this turns into the online poker fiasco is one of two ways. First, federal law and/or federal regulation determines that DAILY fantasy sports are distinct season-long fantasy sports and should be declared illegal gambling.

    As partially disclosed in the editors note, there are extremely powerful companies and people invested in these sites, Vegas can make all the noise in wants, but the powers that be behind these sites have pull well beyond what Vegas has in Washington. I would be totally shocked if these sites were declared illegal based on that fact alone.

    The second way these sites get shut down is if these companies were a fraud – I.e. Full Tilt Poker. I think the major players involved make it highly unlikely that these companies are effectively a Ponzi scheme.

    The outcry suggests regulation is forthcoming, but a shutdown on a nationwide basis seems highly unlikely.

  26. I never cared about sports gambling before but this season’s DFS advertising is almost offensive. I’ve never been more annoyed at any entire market as much as I am with DFS.

    Normally i’d be siding with DFS because I believe in completely unfettered, unregulated, leave-me-the-hell-alone free markets, but DK and FD have been so incredibly annoying that I’m happy to sit back and watch the old-guard Vegas/Feds/Congress duke it out as I sit in the peanut gallery and watch.

    Normally i would have brought up the idea that a government banning any mutually voluntary activity is a disgrace to this country’s founding and that gambling isn’t anything special and should be treated like going fishing or hiking, but I almost hope these 2 companies burn for the amount of bad commercials ive had to watch the last few months.

  27. Congress first was petitioned by a Senator to investigate the DFS model a few weeks back as he was watching an NFL game and noticed that basically every other commercial was for DFS and there was signage on the screen from in-stadium advertising – the arms race between FanDuel and Draft Kings that led to the unwanted regulatory scrutiny that they are now experiencing. Probably should have been a little more subtle in their approach.

  28. Dfs been going strong for years..then they wanna show adds every 10 minutes on so sick of the have that many adds they are obviously making bank and showing it off

  29. Gambling should be legal but I still don’t have any sympathy for people who aren’t allowed to do it. Get your fix somewhere else.

  30. My 13 year signed up on both major sites, unbeknownst to me, used credits/$$ he won playing Call of Duty on line (another child exploiter)….so he is gambling. My 13 year old is allowed to gamble…or at least he was until I discovered what was going on.
    Of course this industry needs to be regulated as gambling entities…..IT is HORSE RACING but with humans. There will be a winner, there will be losers…..and you bet on who you think wins…to collect $$$$$=Gambling. And kids are allowed in.
    In Colorado, EVERY teenager now smokes weed thanks to greedy politicians….And now teenagers can get their gambling fix in as well. And in my kids high school, the teens love the adrenaline of daily fantasy/gambling….so now they are betting games with each other as well. Pandora’s box has been opened. Amazing how GREED can shove aside common sense!!!

  31. Anyone can be bought… Pure politics baby!!!! Goodell is a pure politician like his daddy….that’s why he’s in the position he’s in….

  32. Just play HEAD TO HEAD and in 3-4 man LEAGUES. No need to waste $$$ on the millionaire makers….playing against 400K people, but it is fun…

  33. Vegas has also just filed a lawsuit against the US stock market. No person residing in Nevada shall bet money on the stock market anymore without the direct and explicit permission of the state.

  34. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Oct 16, 2015 7:23 AM
    The only difference between a country like this and Saudi Arabia is the technology. “Land of the free” huh?

    Factually incorrect statement. News articles about severe punishment for minor infractions are evidence to the contrary.

  35. Fantasy football in general is for schmoes. If you give your money away to DFS leagues, then you are the ones responsible for all of the obnoxious ads.

  36. Roger Goodell promotes wife beating, child beating and gambling. I love the chumps that were rooting for this same guy to suspend Brady.


    Robert Kraft has a big stake on one of these sites, and he was turning a blind eye to Hernandez, but acted up when ge was catching fire on his pants, tell me again how bad is Goodell?

  37. The cutout in the 2006 internet gambling law for fantasy sports was never intended for anything like DFS, as a matter of fact the lobbyist responsible for getting the cutout has said the industry never envisioned anything like DFS. This is gambling in the easiest to understand definition of gambling.

  38. Pot yelling at the kettle ‘you’re black!’
    Sorry, but it’s a money deal for Vegas…they want all sports bets there. This has nothing to do with being good or right. Open your eyes people…Vegas against gambling….because they aren’t getting any of the money.

  39. I put up $100 per week playing the last two seasons. With all the advertisting that was shoved down my throat during the offseason (and even worse during it), I haven’t spent a dollar yet.

  40. Only the government (state and federal) and the gambling cartels are allowed to provide gambling options b/c they get their cut.

    DFS doesn’t give a “cut” to the govt or anyone else, capitalism at its best IMO.

  41. The only reason states are getting involved isnt to protect people its to line their pockets.

    They are just pissed they arent getting their cut. Governments are very similar to the NFL League Office. If they arent getting paid its illegal.

    Its a bunch of BS. Its a combo of luck and skill. Just because you arent as smart as you think you are, doeesnt mean DFS is gambling.

  42. The NFL, blogs, the networks all accepted the gambling sponsorship money, enough to show VERY annoying and loud commercials and ads every single break and on top of webpages. They all have a stake in keeping these two douchy companies in business. Look for a lobbyist fight in Congress between the NFL/networks and Vegas.

    The losers will the public, either way. The winners, as usual, will be the politicians who accept the bribes, er “campaign donations”, from the lobbyists.

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