UPDATE; New York Attorney General has ordered both companies to cease doing business with people in his state. In a statement, he said;
“It is clear that DraftKings and FanDuel are the leaders of a massive, multibillion-dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans across the country,” Mr. Schneiderman said, adding, “Today we have sent a clear message: not in New York, and not on my watch.”
Our original story below …
One of the ‘lines’ from last night’s GOP debate came from Governor Chris Christie over what he called ‘fantasy football.’ Christie mocked any attempt to question any candidates over what he considered a superfluous issue. Christie, in his rant, hit some obvious ‘buttons’ when he stated that it was silly to be talking about fantasy football when there were things like debt and ISIS to be discussed.
Because in Chris Christie’s world it impossible to multi-task? Perhaps … but perhaps there are a few other things at play.
First off, the question wasn’t about ‘fantasy football.’ It was about an unregulated day trading scheme taking millions of dollars from unsuspecting people on a daily basis. Draftkings and Fanduel are not running the type of recreational and friendly activity that people all over America join in with their family, friends, and co-workers. Those are real ‘fantasy leagues.’ They course throughout the season, it is a social occurrence (especially the draft) and something that provides conversation among league members usually throughout the year. Most leagues have low entry fees and those dollars usually go a long way in entertainment value if some or all is not won back. Lastly, whoever wins the league doesn’t “get rich’ and the payouts are usually worth less than the bragging rights to many participants.
What companies like Fanduel and Draftkings are doing is a whole nother animal.
It is not a social thing, it’s a money thing. The bets are won and lost in a single day vs the months of a season. While the entry fees on these sites can be low, the sky is the limit conversely and people can lose their shirt in a single day before they even know what is going on. Lastly, people are getting rich off these sites, and it might not all be above board, as recent reports have alleged.
I want to talk about the cheating that goes on in these ‘leagues’ (unlike the GOP candidates who wanted to brush it under the rug) but first I have to point out how interesting it is that the Governor of a state that allows legal gambling which is VERY regulated is scoffing at any possible regulation over this type of gambling. It gets more interesting when we see that Fanduel is based in New York City, just over the famous bridge that Christie and his cronies have been accused of shutting down for political revenge. It might be interesting to see if the folks there have been ‘betting’ on the Christie campaign with any donations to him or his SuperPACs. We do know that both teams that play in his state take their money. We also know that Christie’s BFF Jerry Jones accepts money from these companies as well as being an investor. Does Christie as well? I don’t know … but like I said, it would probably be worth looking into. Jones was defending his investments in the gambling venture just a few days ago;
“From my perspective, anything that follows the rules, that causes and creates more interest and more fan participation, I’m really for,” Jones said. “So I’m a supporter and that’s the rules that we’ll test — is put your money where your mouth is.”
To Jerry Jones, fans losing their paycheck to a sleazy, unregulated gambling scheme is ‘fan participation.’ Really? Jone’s BFF governor friend goes ballistic defending the industry from regulation just a few days later? What an amazing coincidence, eh? Listening to Christie in his defense reminds me of some old mob movies when the bad guys get busted. Those thugs are always jabbering about how the cops should ‘go after the real criminals.’ When you listen to Christie, you hear the same rhetoric … another amazing coincidence?
Back to the cheating.
Several reports came out earlier this month detailing what were referred to as ‘insider trading’ deals going on with these companies. Employees from one entity were using their inside info and betting it on the other. In response, the State of Nevada immediately banned people in the state from betting on the sites and ordered the companies to face their regulatory board and satisfy their stringent requirements before this type of gaming would be permitted again in their state.
Notice that was pretty much the OPPOSITE of Christie’s response. Nevada is not alone either, as 5 states currently don’t allow this ‘day trading’ to go on unregulated in their state.
Chris Christie thinks it’s ‘silly’ for the government to get involved. You are wrong, sir … it’s not silly, it pretty much is demanding the government get involved just like it does, and you do with other types of gambling.
The week the reports began to surface, week 5 of the NFL season, These two companies took in almost 50 million in entry fees. Do the math over the season, including playoffs and the Super Bowl, you are looking at a payday of almost a billion dollars … just for ONE league, the NFL. Then there is every other professional sport and collegiate sport. Include soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball and NASCAR racing in the mix. It is not out of the question that this is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Again, a far cry from the neighborhood or inter-office fantasy game.
This is exactly the type of industry that government should be involved in, and unlike in Chris Christie’s ‘fantasy world’ I believe in a government that can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can defeat ISIS and regulate this industry. We can reduce debt and regulate this industry. Amazing, aren’t we? Keep in mind that many states don’t have a system like Nevada or New Jersey to regulate gambling, so this is when the Federal government needs to come in. The states, by and large, are unequipped to deal with it. That seems to suit Christie, Jones and all the Wall Street money wrapped up in this scheme just fine.
Yes, Governor Christie, you are dead wrong in your dismissal of any regulation of this industry that has already shown corruption within the companies themselves. Poo-pooing it doesn’t change that. Inaccurately comparing what these corporations are doing on a daily basis to a friendly game is both inaccurate and dishonest. This is a multi-billion dollar industry that is possibly corrupt to the core … that’s why we need government, to protect us from such atrocities. It’s not stupid, it’s rather smart to do, actually.
Check out Christie’s faux outrage HERE;
This industry needs a serious look-over and sooner rather than later. Not only is Jerry Jones an investor but other NFL owners are as well. Comcast is a major investor as are many other entities that do business with the NFL and other professional sports. Do I have to even mention the major conflicts of interests going on here? Jerry Jones claims that ‘since the rules allow it, it’s okay.’ Well, not when you consider that these ‘rules’ were made by a bunch of billionaires for themselves. Gee, the billionaires are allowing themselves to make more money without anyone scrutinizing it? Another AMAZING coincidence.
Check out another perspective …
Featured image via youtube.com screen capture