Of course it’s gambling…
daily fantasy sports groups can claim otherwise, but even they have to know


We are being treated to a battle right now that some would have you believe is based on actual differences, even though the reality is nothing more that wording (combined with stupidity).

(Wait… hold on… sorry. This is becoming a massive battle involving millions upon millions of dollars and LOTS of lawyers turning in receipts for billable hours. They’ll likely never see this article, but better to be safe. In my opinion, and heck I’m just a harmless writer with an opinion not worth billing hours to explore, this situation is really stupid.)

People spend money to register. Money they can lose.

People play the game. A game they hope will allow them to win money.

End of discussion.

It is just that simple. You can win money. You can lose money. Gambling.

(That was easy.)

Places like FanDuel and DraftKings don’t seem to think it’s that simple though. At least, not on the record, as it pertains to their business interests. At least, not as New York joins in a mounting push against these companies that offer contests… fantasy sports… fun… excitement… bragging rights… call it what you will, as long as you don’t call it wagering, gambling or any other potentially illegal classification in conversations with representatives from these companies (or their attorneys).

There is no debate here. It’s gambling. Amazingly though, leave it to the trail of money to make something out of simplicity.

Let’s approach just one aspect of the defense FanDuel and DraftKings have been using: calling it a game of skill.

See, gambling… in their concept of the world… is a game of chance. Scratch tickets. Powerball. Gambling is such that players have no control in determining the outcome.

They seem to support the notion that doing research, selecting players wisely, and so on makes things like what FanDuel and DraftKings offers games of skill. And they claim that’s not gambling.

Because… you know… Blackjack isn’t gambling.

Sure. Blackjack.

Do your research on the subject. Experts will tell you there is a monumental difference in thinking of it as a quest to come as close as possible to 21 and the reality of it. When you learn about doubling down, pat hands, insurance, surrender, and all of the other options along with developing sound playing strategy, you find that treating blackjack as a game of skill suddenly creates an opportunity to significantly narrow the house advantage. In fact, depending on the rules and situation involved… if surrender is available, if a single-deck game can be found, if you are capable of card recognition, if the rotation of the planet slows… some studies show blackjack can be brought to even odds and possibly ever so slightly to the player’s favor.

This isn’t an article about blackjack strategy, odds and studies though. It is about average players versus those that learn to play a so called perfect game. After all, perfection requires skill.

There exists a possibility of examining hundreds of scenarios, dozens upon dozens of terms, and thousands of lawyer hours investigating those scenarios and terms. We don’t need to lead you along that path right now.

It’s just as simple as it was when we began this adventure. It’s just as simple as it will be after hours of investigations and antics in court. It’s gambling.

I’m not saying that gambling is wrong. Nor am I saying that it shouldn’t be allowed. Instead, I’m just laughing. Because the legal wrangling would have you believe these yellow, waddling, quacking games aren’t ducks.

Funny though… because if you think the common, average player has a chance to win hundreds of thousands of dollars playing, then you might actually be ready to hear about a bridge that’s up for sale. (Buy some property. I know a guy. It would be a better investment of your money.)

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com