Daily Fantasy Sports, A Supreme Decision
On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional – meaning it's up to the states to decide whether to allow its residents to bet on sports. This may portend big changes to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS).
In a previous post, The U.S. Supreme Court Tackles Sports Gambling Law, we wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court case Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association which dealt with the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) – which prohibits sports gambling. On Monday, the Supremes issued a 7-2 decision striking down PASPA.
The ramifications of this landmark decision could open up the flood gates for states to legalize sports gambling. It's been predicted that as many as 32 states are interested in legalizing sports gambling.
What does this mean for DFS? The decision may not have a direct impact on DFS, since DFS has operated on the theory that it is not gambling in the first place, but rather a game of skill. While it is possible that the 10 states prohibiting DFS could change their mind, the biggest boon for DFS as a result of the unconstitutionality of PASPA is that it could become the go-to place for legalized sports gambling. Once states start legalizing sports gambling, DFS operators are in a unique position to capitalize. DFS has millions of users. Imagine having that base of followers in order to introduce legalized sports betting. Plus, while many of us may be afraid, or at least not interested, to take on the task of poring through player statistics to play DFS, everyone likes to put a couple bucks on the Super Bowl. The sky's the limit for DFS operators.
If I were a betting person, I'd take the bet that legalized sports betting on DFS sites will eventually surpass playing DFS games.