Real money online fantasy sports betting is slowly gaining acceptance in the United States. Last year saw seven states in the U.S. pass laws allowing citizens to participate in regulated daily fantasy sports (DFS) events, the most recent being Mississippi. This is great news for the DFS industry, which has experienced an uphill battle in many states. Prior to 2016’s monumental approval for DFS in many states, there were only two states that allowed real money online fantasy sports gambling: Maryland (passed in 2012) and Kansas (passed in 2015). The battle for widespread acceptance of daily fantasy sports events is far from easy for the industry.
The current list of states that allow regulated daily fantasy sports events include Colorado, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, New York, Missouri, Massachusetts, Maryland and Kansas with Mississippi being the newest. The battle for legalisation of DFS is due to be fought in one of the bigger markets later this year – Texas – where legislation explicitly blocking daily fantasy sports events is not on the books.
The NCAA is not expected to change its stance on daily fantasy sports betting anytime soon. According to the Huffington Post, the NCAA has run daily fantasy sports advertising during the PAC 12, even though the college league’s bylaws disallow involvement with such events. While they will not officially endorse DFS events, they are fine with accepting advertising revenue from the companies that manage such events. Professional sports have a different point of view, though.
Professional sports leagues have flipped on their stance concerning daily fantasy sports betting. Previously against it, the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB have all begun working with popular real money sports betting services such as FanDuel and DraftKings. The professional sports leagues have figured out that fans who have a bit of cash on a game are more likely to watch sporting events live. This solves a problem that the leagues have been battling for years – viewership decline. With this decline in viewers watching live, advertising revenue declines, too. When players have more on the line than their favourite team winning or losing they are more likely to watch live, including sitting through commercials.
As real money online fantasy sports betting laws are relaxed, we will see bigger payouts for winners. Online gaming sites have been awarding large prizes for years, such as the Mega Moolah jackpot paying out big to the tune of €8 million recently and the Dota 2 International 2016 offering a combined prize pool of over $20 million. Relaxing online gaming laws not only rewards the player but the professional sports leagues as well.
Not only are players winners when real money online gaming laws are relaxed but so is the local and federal government. With the legalisation of DFS within each state comes regulation, which translates into winnings being tracked and taxes paid by the winners and the companies managing the events.
If you are a couch coach then this is great news for you as it means more legitimacy for the real money sports betting sector. Relaxed laws in many states could allow for bigger winnings across the available pool of games to wager on.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by all Troy Media columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Troy Media.
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