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Daily Fantasy Football, Gambling or Not?

March 17, 2016

        Every single week during the NFL season, I wake up and enter a fantasy football league on fanduel. I am not the only person who does this. Across the nation there are thousands of people who are addicted to daily fantasy football. Daily fantasy football is composed of two elements, money and football. You can use different amounts of money to join different leagues, and you can pick different players to make and ideal lineup for you. This might sounds like gambling but really, fantasy football is a game of both skill and luck, hence it should not be considered gambling.

        To be gambling, you need to fill out three qualifications: betting, needs to be a “game of chance”, and you need to have a chance of winning. It is irrelevant to the states because both of the major sites (Fanduel and DraftKings) are legally able to do this. (Pagels) They are able to do this because fantasy football is not a game of chance. It is classified as a game of skill. (Pagels) You need to have a general knowledge of what you are doing. You have to know which players perform better and what are the odds that have a good game based on the defense they are going up against. The main argument of this is that people think fantasy football classifies as a game of chance.

        In five states, courts have classified fanduel as illegal. This argument for this is that fantasy football is purely based on luck because you do not know the stats one player will put up and how it will effect your team. (Danielson) They consider that you do not know how the players will do because their stats change week to week. (Danielson) This is wrong because some players are obviously better than others and put up better stats on a week to week basis. Some players will obviously do better because they are more talented. For instance, Tom Brady, a star quarterback, is going to put up more points than Chase Daniel, a backup quarterback. If you had no prior knowledge to the game, you would not know this.

    Fantasy football is not all luck and not all skill. It is a combination of both. You need to know what you are doing to succeed in fantasy football, and you need to have a general idea of the sport. Almost all the people who play/participate in daily fantasy football know what the are doing. (Pagels) You cannot succeed in this game if you don't know what you are doing making it a game of skill.

        Daily fantasy football only fills out two thirds of the criteria for gambling. Clearly, fantasy football is a game of both skill and luck, hence it should not be considered gambling. While some people like to think that you cannot know how the players perform, you have some idea of how they will perform. If daily fantasy football would be made illegal in any more states, I think it would be unfair because the game is not luck. Fantasy football is skill.

Works Cited:
Danielson, Jeff, and Jake Highfill. "Free Fantasy Sports from Heavy-Handed Laws." Des Moines Register. 26 Mar. 2015: 19. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

   Pagels, Jim. "Is Your Fantasy Football Squad Illegal?." Reason. Jan. 2016: 18-22. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.


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