As long as daily fantasy sports (DFS) continue to operate unregulated throughout the United States, they’re going to be a huge topic of discussion. And most recently, HBO’s John Oliver jumped on the subject in the latest segment of Last Week Tonight. Essentially the British Jon Stewart (or Trevor Noah now), Oliver delivers plenty of jokes on the legality of DFS. And perhaps the most-interesting part is when he discusses how online poker is basically the precedent for what DFS can expect.
“There’s actually a precedent for an online game of skill and chance…unfortunately, for daily fantasy, it’s poker, which most states consider gambling,” Oliver said. “You would think if these sites were smart, they would run away as fast as they could from any comparison to poker.”
This statement was followed by DraftKings CEO Jason Robins saying, “(DFS) has a similar feel to poker,” amid laughs from the audience.
Then former Full Tilt-sponsored player Cory Albertson is brought up. Albertson, who has over $700k in online and live poker cashes, has found even more success in DFS. He’s even managed to create his own algorithm that factors weather and a number of other aspects into each decision.
“If it attracts the same people and requires the same skills, it’s safe to say it is somewhat similar,” Oliver said. “It’s like finding out that an Olympic gymnast has joined Cirque du Soleil, or that a professional snowboarder has joined a Colorado pot dispensary.”
Finally, Oliver brings up how DraftKings was the main sponsor of the 2015 World Series of Poker. I highly encourage you to check out the entire video below to see the humorous case that Oliver makes about DFS’s legality.