Daily fantasy sports betting going down the same road as online poker

They enjoyed the proliferation of the game into mainstream media. The government will, eventually, shut down daily fantasy sports betting just like it did to online poker wagering.. Mike Sexton became a household name for many. World Series of Poker. Poker is just as much a game of skill as betting on fantasy sports. There has been the scandal questioning the integrity of the game. Money in players’ accounts was frozen and seized. The public outcry will be huge if fantasy sports betting is deemed illegal.

It was only a matter of time. No one was being hurt. They cause a lot of buzz. Some are still waiting.

Those who played online poker for a living know how this is going to end. The New York State Attorney General sent out cease and desist letters a week ago to FanDuel and DraftKings. The two fantasy sports sites have chosen to ignore the injunction and elected to continue to take bets from New York residents. On April 15, 2011 — a day known as “Black Friday” among the online poker community — the United States government shut down the three big online poker sites. Right?

Wrong, said the United States government. Enjoy it while it lasts, friends. It’s the same pattern. Basically, the New York A.G. Money was changing hands. Any online poker player who has visited DraftKings will find an eery familiarity between the lobby area of the online fantasy sports site and their old favorite online poker websites. Poker After Dark. The government, especially, notices they aren’t getting their piece of the action. Online poker sites that once would be lucky to have 1,000 players online at any given time now had over 200,000– many of them “fish,” a term used to describe bad players. How about head-to-head with just one other opponent? You could even create your own tournaments with as many, or as few, players as you like.

So what is happening to daily fantasy sites like FanDuel and DraftKings comes as no surprise to former online poker players. Poof! Just like that. A poker player can calculate the odds of a certain card hitting the table as much as any fantasy sports bettor can calculate the odds of a certain hitter getting a base hit against a certain pitcher.

Former online poker players have seen this story play out before. PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker were closed for business to all American players. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, because as popular as online poker may have been (and it was enormously popular), fantasy football is even bigger and more mainstream. FanDuel and DraftKings are suing the New York Attorney General.

The bottom line is the government will always want a piece of the action. You want to play in a tournament against thousands of others with the chance for a huge payout? Or do you want to just “grind” out a steady profit? You could play single “games” against only fifty people, twenty, or nine– how many ever you want. There are the various buy-ins, ranging from free, to a single dollar, to as much as several hundreds of dollars. Some, eventually, got their money back. They generate a lot of money. The government calls daily fantasy sports betting “gambling.” The accused sites argue that fantasy sports is a “game of skill” and not “gambling.” The government goes after the payment processors for the various sites.

The online poker player is very familiar with these game setups. is banning fantasy sports betting by New York residents. ESPN and NBC couldn’t get enough poker programming. Not everyone may know how to play poker, but nearly everyone watches football. Advertising is annoyingly saturating the airwaves. Just a word of advice– Don’t keep too much money on the sites.

The legal wrangling has already begun in one state. And they must sit and wonder how these sites have gotten away with this as long as they have. They witnessed the boom of poker. Online players were in heaven. Advertising for sites like PokerStars and PartyPoker were inundating the airwaves. These sites gain popularity. You can play against how many ever opponents you want. And you can play as many times as you want. People were having fun. The government has begun to take notice

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