Online poker has drawn many comparisons to daily fantasy sports (DFS) in recent years, namely because they’re games of chance that also contain skill. But apparently, FanDuel CEO Matt King thinks that unlike DFS, poker is not a skill game.
King offered his opinion during an interview with PBS, where his goal was to prove that DFS is full of skill and nothing like poker. Below you can see the most-telling excerpt from King’s opinion:
“There is a lot of academic research on this, what’s the skill versus luck kind of spectrum. The reality is within poker, every time you shuffle the deck, it creates an element of luck that trumps it basically to being much more a chance-dominated game than a skill-dominated game. If you look at our data, the players that are good, are frankly consistently good. It is truly a game of skill. … Just like football or basketball. The more you practice, the better that you get. Many of the forms of regulated gambling are actively constructed so they are games of chance, and that is a very, very different experience than a game of skill, which is what fantasy clearly is.”
When asked about how rain can affect games and add more random luck, King defended DFS by saying that even spelling bees have luck involved.
It only makes sense that King would try to distance FanDuel and other DFS sites from online poker. After all, poker has been through some major legal issues, such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 and Black Friday (2011). However, the idea that online poker is somehow pure gambling, as opposed to DFS, is just ridiculous.
“Just like football or basketball,” you also improve your chances of winning in poker by practicing. Thousands of players across the globe have proven this by beating the game and becoming poker pros.
DFS is facing increasing legal pressure now from many U.S. states, including New York. It’s actually New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, who gave PBS the other side of the story on DFS. Sadly for King, lying and saying that poker doesn’t contain skill won’t save his game from legal challenges.