SBD/January 23, 2013/Media

Websites Walk Thin Line Between Gambling, Fantasy Sports With New Marketing

There are a growing number of websites that are “walking a thin line between gambling and fantasy sports when it comes to marketing their websites,” according to Chris Sieroty of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. There is a “new and profitable trend of daily betting sites such as Cantor Fantasy, Fan Duel, Fan Ball and Draft Day that process millions of dollars in transactions between players who organize and bet on new lineups.” Fantasy Sports Trade Association President Paul Charchian at the organization’s conference yesterday said, "We support daily game companies. By far, daily games are the fastest growing part of our business. Don't (mess) it up." Charchian said that he was “concerned that some daily sites are marketing themselves like offshore sports books did before the federal crackdown in 2006.” He urged them to be "much more conscious about creating consumer confusion." Charchian: "Sooner or later that confusion will affect all of us." It currently is “legal to bet on fantasy sports.” The Unlawful Internet Gambling & Enforcement Act says that the games “must have an outcome that reflects the relative knowledge of the participants, but not chance.” In other words, fantasy sports are “considered games of skill.” Charchian: "No fantasy league or website has ever been shut down due to a gambling indictment. Please be very conscious about how you present yourself. If you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for the industry" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/23).

HYBRID CLUB: In Houston, Molly Ryan reports Houston-based Sports Tradex has “introduced a platform on which users can combine the competitive nature of sports with the risks and thrills of a stock exchange.” The company “launched its online sports exchange about two months ago and already has close to 1,000 users.” But this is “just the beginning -- the company expects to add thousands more as it increases its sports offerings.” Sports Tradex Founder & CEO Ben Lipson said, “We are a fantasy sports and finance hybrid” (HOUSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/18 issue).
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