A new world of sports


The virtual world of sports has taken sports fans to another level of fandom. Photo credit: Christopher Valdez

Christopher Valdez

Are you a fan of fantasy football?

If so, chances are you’ve heard of FanDuel.com, a website/app that has taken over the fantasy football scene by storm.

Most City College students that were asked about FanDuel do admit they have heard about it but haven’t given it a shot because they are unsure of how it works, and since its a fairly new website, many of the students continue to play fantasy sports on ESPN, Yahoo or CBS.com.

“I’ve tried it and thought it was cool, thought I would just check it out and see what exactly it was all about,” student Roman Acosta says. “To tell you the truth, it seemed a little complicated and I would rather just stick to my regular fantasy leagues.”

FanDuel offers one-day and one-week leagues and pays out $10 million in cash prizes every week. These payments are paid instantly if you win at the end of the week and leagues can be started as low as $1. As seen on its website, a man by the name of Chris Prince, who is a resident of Detroit, has raked in a whopping $656,224.

FanDuel was started in 2009 and to this date has paid out roughly $310 million in prizes. Football is not the only sport offered on the website, these leagues can be made for the NBA, MLB, NHL, college football, as well as college basketball. So how can all this be legal?

To all the poker players reading this article, you might recall that World Poker has now revoked the privilege of online gambling within the United States. In 2006, the federal government passed a law called the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, which was designed to prevent gambling over the internet for U.S. citizens. Now how exactly is FanDuel exempt from online gambling?

Simple. It is not considered gambling. Fantasy sports are considered a game of skill and players are being picked strategically. On the FanDuel website, under the legal tab, it states: “The laws relating to fantasy sports varies by state however in a vast majority of them fantasy sports is considered a game of skill and therefore legal. In most states a game of skill is classed as a game where skill is the predominant factor in determining the winner. The states where our lawyers believe the law is unclear or questionable about the legality of fantasy sports are Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Washington. Therefore we do not offer paid games to the residents of those states.”

A few more reasons as to why this is allowed are due to the fact that all prizes and awards are established and made known in advance of the game or contest. All winnings reflect the knowledge and skill of the participants. Finally, no winning outcome is based on a game score or a point spread. No individual efforts are being gambled on instead someone is picking their own version of a team which in the eyes of the law (at least in most states) is considered legal. If more than $500 is won, FanDuel requires your Social Security number for tax purposes. Let’s say someone wins more than $600 on FanDuel, the website will send you a 1099 form at the end of the year.

So, as you can see, it has covered itself very well with all legal matters and found every loophole possible. Although FanDuel might not be for everyone, it is a nice, quick alternative for those fantasy sports players out there who would like a quick game.