In a recently unsealed 2012 deposition from the state of New Jersey’s bid to legalize sports betting, as reported on by ESPN.com, the Commissioner made clear his stance on daily fantasy sports:
We don’t look at fantasy sports as gambling
In Goodell’s eyes, actual gambling on sports must include prize, chance and consideration. (All three of which one could argue are found in DFS.)
The controversial head of the NFL went on to say that while he worries legalized sports betting would tarnish the image of the game, he doesn’t see DFS through that same lens saying:
Fantasy football’s not based on the outcome of a game it’s based on the performance of individuals that they select.
While Goodell seems to think he won’t have any problems with players shaving yards or missing passes to impact the outcome of a fantasy tournament, he doesn’t seem to be taking any chances either. Current NFL policies prevent players from winning more than $ 250 in a fantasy tournament of any kind. (When pressed during the deposition, Goodell could not explain why the league settled on the $ 250 limit.)
The NFL is hardly the only sports league that’s keeping an eye on how its players handle the booming daily fantasy sports market.
College football’s governing body, the NCAA, has announced it will institute a one-year ban on players found to be gambling, including those who play daily fantasy sports.
As DFS grows, it seems to be stretching the definition of gambling just enough for sports leagues to justify making money off it. It seems safe to say that by this time next year, most DFS sites will operating under more regulation and a lot more scrutiny.
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