Monday, November 30, 2015

Gambling Options for Houstonians: Daily Fantasy in One Year

With all of the political bell-ringing over daily fantasy sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings more reasoned observers have started to wonder what, if any, future these companies may have.  I would propose that if you want to see what Daily Fantasy Sports is going to look like in the near future you take a look at the current state of sport's betting, minus Las Vegas.

Currently, it is legal to bet on sporting contests in Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana. Although New Jersey is trying to challenge that law. What remains in the industry, and it's a lucrative market, are 'illegal' off-shore (and online) betting sites which operate outside the regulatory framework that other, legalized gambling, does.

Sites such as Bovada and 5Dimes allow sport's bettors to make and place bets that would otherwise be illegal to make. Since it's unclear whether or not the laws in place make it illegal to place a bet online, Federal and State law enforcement agencies have, to date, not prosecuted individual bettors in an attempt to stop the process.

As a result, online sports wagering is increasing, and thriving.  Thanks to Social Puritanism that's unlikely to change. Thanks also to Social Fascism, what's likely going to be pushed into the gray market are Daily Fantasy Sports.

Now that Pandora's Box has been opened it's unlikely that those who have found a taste for DFS will willingly abandon it if there are other options.  While sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings might have to legitimately abandon the US market the currently operating off-shore books will fill in the void.

All of this while politicians looking either for power or additional revenue chest pound as victors without realizing that the operation is still going on, and there's little they can do to stop it. This is why casino-mogul Sheldon Adelson is pushing so hard (and spending so much in support of) the Restoration of America's Wire Act bill, or "Adelson's on-line gaming bill" as it's known.

Mr. Adelson's bill would make it a crime to place these bets online and would create an entire new class of criminal in the US.  Given the proclivities of the Federal Justice Department this would cause another spike in the prison population.  Apparently the Bill's sponsor's Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) are unconcerned about this in their rush to impose Social Puritanism on the Nation.

Of course, Mr. Adelson's bill would also outlaw online lotteries, and other items that we take for granted daily and would require, as is typically the case with bad legislation that limits freedoms, massive carve-outs to avoid capturing criminals created through unintended consequences.

For all of his crocodile tears it's evident that Mr. Adelson is not all that concerned about the moral decline of America, based on the activities permitted by his casinos. The fact is, Mr. Adelson is interested in stopping online gaming because his competitors are doing a better job at it than he is, and that's costing him money.

And, as we know, in the gambling industry it's ALWAYS about the money.

It's the same way in the political industry as well. Do you honestly think these politicians would be going after DFS so hard if they didn't think their was money involved?  Either through increased taxes, fees, fines or through campaign donations and other compensation the politicians here are looking to get RICH.

If history is any guide, they'll succeed, thus pushing gamblers to unregulated sites that operate in the gray or black markets or even worse, bringing the bookie back into heavy rotation. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have my account suspended for missing a payment than have my legs broken. We'll see.

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