It seems that daily fantasy sports (DFS) are the new online poker since many Americans can legally play DFS. Meanwhile, online poker has taken a backseat after major legal hits through the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 and Black Friday (2011). So the L.A. Times has a solution to the matter: just legalize all forms of internet gaming.
A recent editorial discusses how, unlike online poker, DFS was exempted from the UIGEA and continues to thrive in the United States. However, DFS’s reign at the top could be shorter-lived than internet poker’s, given that several state attorney generals have already declared that it violates gambling laws.
Rather than playing this legal game of cat-and-mouse, as well as trying to argue that DFS isn’t gambling, the L.A. Times staff suggests that the easier thing to do is legalize online gaming in general. Here’s one excerpt from the article:
California lawmakers have been trying for years to create this sort of framework for online poker, only to be thwarted by internecine battles among the state’s licensed gaming businesses. Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) is now championing a bill to license and regulate just the daily fantasy sports operators, but his bill is likely to run the same gantlet of resistance from Indian tribes, racetracks and card clubs. The argument for setting up a safer environment for fantasy sports games applies in spades to online poker. It’s time for the Legislature to stand up to the competing gambling interest groups and adopt safeguards that apply across the online gaming boards.
In California’s case, the reason why they can’t legalize either iPoker or DFS is the state’s Indian tribes. Certain tribal gaming influences don’t want to move forward with legalization/regulation until they’re assured that PokerStars/racetracks won’t be involved.
But the L.A. Times’ general point reigns true in that there’s no legitimate reason why DFS should be regulated before online poker or other forms of iGaming. Poker is, after all, a skill game just like DFS. So there should be an all-encompassing piece of legislation that covers everything.