The commissioners of the three most popular professional sports leagues in America advocate DFS regulations, but refuse to refer to the game as a form of “gambling”.
Following recent allegations of cheating and questions as to the legality of daily fantasy sports, the NBA, NFL, and MLB commissioners had a little something to say on the issue.
Speaking to Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg on ESPN Radio, new Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred went so far as to defend the daily fantasy sports industry.
“Fantasy is not gambling, in my view,” Manfred said. “What I’ve said about legalized gambling is that the landscape is changing and that baseball, during this offseason, principally will take a look at its relationships with legalized gambling — whether it’s sponsorship, whatever — and re-evaluate given that the country has changed in terms of its approach to legalized gambling.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took a different approach.
“We are not in favor of legalizing sports gambling,” Goodell said Tuesday on the Mike and Mike radio program. “We think that is a mistake for sports. The integrity of our game is the most important thing and we want to make sure that our game is above any sort of influence and we do not want to participate in that.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is strongly in favor of DFS regulations, according to an interview with ESPN.com.
“You are putting money at risk, and so from that standpoint, I think in terms of the integrity of those businesses, the confidence that fans have, that consumers have in playing those games, I think regulation is in order,” Silver said. “People should know what percent of the pool of money is paid out in the same way you would at a track or at any other event where wagering is involved.”
WSOP Ditches DraftKings Sponsorship
Speaking of ESPN, the network that carries the World Series of Poker has decided to cut ties with the popular DFS brand DraftKings on future WSOP broadcasts, and the WSOP will eliminate DraftKings ads from its Main Event final table next month.
After Nevada banned unlicensed DFS sites from operating in the state, along with recent backlash from politicians about the legality of DFS games, the WSOP was forced to make a difficult PR move.
As Phillip Conneller wrote, DFS and the WSOP appeared to be a “match made in heaven” at first glance. Most poker players enjoy other forms of gambling and sports, and many sports fans enjoy poker.
Despite the “love at first sight” relationship, this one lasted about as long as a Kardashian marriage.
Pokerstars Operator Wants DFS Regulations
Professional sports commissioners aren’t the only ones clamoring for DFS regulations. Amaya Gaming, operator of Pokerstars and DFS site StarsDraft, recently encouraged US lawmakers to step in and regulate the industry before things get out of control.
Concerned with the future of its daily fantasy sports website, Amaya defended its business model in a statement released to the press.
“Since we entered the DFS category earlier this year, we have brought regulated gaming best practices to StarsDraft’s already responsible business operations.”
Professional sports league commissioners and a DFS website operator are pushing for industry regulations.
The WSOP has ended its marriage with DraftKings shortly after the honeymoon.
Lawmakers are now questioning whether or not DFS is a form of gambling. Times are getting tough in DFS land.