Congress to hold hearings on daily fantasy sports

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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.]

With the daily fantasy industry facing various challenges at the state level, the federal government reportedly is planning to get involved.

Via multiple reports gathered by SportsBusiness Daily, Congress will hold hearings in November regarding the proliferation of daily fantasy sports games for money.

“We were thinking about friends getting together and playing fantasy sports where, at the end of the season, there would be a winner,” Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) told ESPN regarding the 2006 law that legalized fantasy sports, via SBD. “No one envisioned a multibillion dollar industry, daily games, hundreds of thousands of people playing, billions of dollars at stake. And look, at the end of the day, we have poker, horse racing — you can get better at skills by practicing and studying up, but they’re regulated as gambling.”

At this point, the best-case scenario for the industry could be the issuance of comprehensive regulations. The worst case would be a decision by Congress to change its mind about fantasy sports, making it gambling and in turn illegal throughout the country.

Even if the federal government decides to allow fantasy sports to continue with regulations aimed at avoiding, for example, the use of inside information by employees of DFS companies, the industry is still facing the possibility that the states will join Nevada’s effort to protect its own legalized gambling operations — or at a minimum to get a piece of the action.

Ultimately, that’s what’s happening. The FanDuels and DraftKings of the world have created from nothing a machine that is generating millions in cash. It’s apparently now time for Uncle Sam and his 50 nieces and nephews to get their fair share, regardless of what is and isn’t objectively fair.

43 responses to “Congress to hold hearings on daily fantasy sports

  1. Your tax dollars at work; when they are done maybe they can save baseball from steroids.

  2. Hearing about what? Is gamble, plain and simple, eithr tax it or regulate it, or shut it down. Maybe, just maybe, the government, like usual, just want a bigger cut, and if the companies don’t concede, then shut down it is.

  3. Bahahahahahahahahhahaha
    because you can definitely believe everything the NFL says and promises you!!!!!!

  4. The sites economic model is exactly the same as casino games such as Keno – the idea it is not gambling is ridiculous – that said with owners like Kraft and Jones having a piece of the pie the NFL will be leading lobbying efforts against regulation even if no regulation ends up in a scandal someday

  5. Of course it’s gambling. Fantasy has come a long way from a group of friends having a league. The potential for shill teams screams out for very tight oversight. Regulate it and tax the snot out of it or eliminate it

  6. This is gambling, plain and simple. I’m not surprised the government was caught flat footed, but you can bet they’re interested now…I personally can’t stand the constant barrage of ads during football games.

  7. In other words, “We want more than a fair share.” This what the government does. They only show up on payday, never during work hours.

  8. Congress, cut of a stream of revenue that would generate tax dollars?


    Congress, regulate a stream of revenue to ensure stead income and protect their cut?


  9. How could it not be gambling?

    You’re paying money into a pot, and paid money back out of that pot (or not at all) based upon the results of chance. Sure, you can look at the history of their performance, and you can look at statistics, and you can gather ancillary information that may or may not impact the final result, but at the end of the day, you are doing the same thing that is being done by people that bet on horse or dog races.

  10. The simple fact that I can’t even pick the best group of starters from a 15-player team each week in my 12 team league is enough to avoid trying to pick a lineup from the entire league of players and wagering money on it.

  11. What was it Reagan said of government’s view of the economy: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it”

  12. This country is a toilet now.


    If I choose to throw a few bucks at a fantasy game with a few other nerds, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT!

    Whats more amazing is how the average american doesn’t give a crap that their lives, down to the smallest detail, is under total control in modern day america.

    In the last 30 years we have plummeted from #1 in the world wide freedom index to number #20. But hey, don’t worry about it citizen, here’s a shiny new Iphone.

  13. In other words, “We want more than a fair share.” This what the government does. They only show up on payday, never during work hours.

    Did anyone actually think that the State and Federal Government Agencies were going to look the other way when billions of dollars in Sports Gambling Fantasy Leagues are changing hands…..and they [the Government Bureaucracies] are swimming in billions of dollars of red ink !.May it never be !….and it IS NOT ! db

  14. Man, well Nevada called it gambling, so it’s gambling. Wait till every state steps in and does the same and the NFL, MLB, and NBA lose their share of the profits. I’m guessing they’ll have to start supporting the law change. NFL has never been about morals, it’s always about the money.

  15. So now that the pro sports leagues and their team owners are stakeholders, how low will the value of these companies plummet when those stakeholders are forced to divest themselves from “gambling” enterprises?

  16. Oh goody. Something else congress can focus on other than actually fixing the major problems the US has.


    I think the real issue here is congress sees what is now a huge industry generating huge buckets of cash and and congress is wondering why they’re not getting serious bribes I mean campaign contributions from these companies.

  17. Sounds like the Govt finally is getting one right. The friends getting together playing a full season for some web based goofy Trophy as originally played should be protected.

    The move to the daily format taking in huge dollars is Gambling plain and simple and should be regulated accordingly. Skill?, it takes more skill to play the Horses or Poker.

  18. The question isn’t whether or not it is gambling. The 2006 law gives specific exceptions for fantasy sports and horse racing. No current law is being violated so a new law would have to pass that specifically criminalizes fantasy sports betting.

    As for those who want the industry shut down because the ads are annoying: you are free to find a country that does not practice capitalism.

  19. The NFL should suspend itself for getting the league into bed with straight up gambling. Is the NFL going to provide rehab for the thousands of habitual gamblers that will be betting the mortgage or tuition money on Fantasy Football? Or maybe the NFL will start a program helping under age gambling? The NFL owners and their greed is putting the league at risk by even associating with Draft Kings and Fan Duel. ESPN is also sucking on the same teet the NFL is. It seems that all ethics and common sense go out the window when there is money to be made. The NFL used to be a great league, now it’s just a big fat slob hoarding all it can at the expense of the players and fans.

  20. I hope the American public becomes aware of who the equity partners are behind DFS: the NFL, NBC, and other media giants. These organizations are promoting gambling no matter what the semantics. I am sick of my TV viewing bombarded with these gambling ads. I hope the government reclassifies DFS as gambling, and rids the American public of these nuisance ads. The gamblers will still gamble, but those who don’t gamble won’t feel so strongly influenced to do so.

  21. First of all if you win a certain amount its taxable income, and its reported to the IRS.

    Second of all, since when, can you get better by studying Horseracing to the horse’s ass Congressman above?

    It takes skill and knowledge to win. Luck also factors into it and good decision making. Since when is good decision making luck? Not the last time i checked.

    If they take this away you might as well let the government regulate every single business.

  22. The current “Millionaire Maker” on Draft Kings has a $20 buy-in with 343.5k spots. That’s a pool of $6.87 Mil. The payout prize pool is $6 Mil. They take $870,000 off the top in just that one contest. How can I get into this “business”?

  23. Seriously, “no one envisioned…” what’s happening? If no one in Congress envisioned this, then they should all resign as being too stupid to hold office. Computer online gambling and no one thought there could possibly be a potential problem? Really?

    The number one thing everyone should understand is that whenever Congress or a legislature enacts laws, there are always “unintended” consequences. Especially when it comes to issues of morality or taxes.

  24. Just wondering because I’m not familiar with this fantasy sports stuff, is there a specific formula for determining points that everyone is aware of? If your runner gains 98 yards in 13 carries, do you know ahead of time how many points they earn for your fantasy team? Is there a specific formula for each player? I only ask because I’m under the impression that everyone accepts whatever they are told by the computer.

  25. Whats the problem? The feds and states already collect tax from fanduel and draftkings. Its called corporate income tax. No way they will ban this as it is already a source of new tax revenue.

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