California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Fantasy sports are chance-based

    Sports fanatics around the world enjoy putting their sports knowledge to the test on fantasy sports gambling sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel.

    These sites allow players to play daily and weekly fantasy sports-related contests by betting on an individual athlete’s performance. Gambling fantasy sports sites such as these are unfair to the average player due to their lack of integrity.

    These sites are currently facing scrutiny after a DraftKings employee won $350,000 on rival site FanDuel. This employee had access to insider information provided by DraftKings, which gave the employee an unfair advantage when placing bets on players.

    “This individual from DraftKings had access to and used information that every DFS [Daily Fantasy Sports] player would love to have,” Ryan Vice, FanDuel enthusiast said. “That employee did take advantage of important information that could significantly increase your odds of winning.  In my opinion, it’s the responsibility of each site to make sure they have a strong code of ethics for their employees that is followed.”

    Prior to this incident, DraftKings did not prevent their employees from playing on their competitor’s site. They have recently changed their policy and now attempt to prevent this type of behavior. Although this built-in advantage of insider information was known while creating their sites, both seemed to have turned a blind eye to the issue.  Now that both sites have been exposed, they must cover up their large mistake.

    DraftKings considers their site a “skill-based” game and not a gambling site in the jurisdiction in which they operate. Players are spending their own money and betting on players, which is most definitely gambling. To sign up for these sites, one must be 18 years or older. This shows that they know minors should not be playing their game.

    DraftKings and FanDuel have drawn comparisons to online poker sites because of their gambling characteristics.

    “Online poker sites can be much more reliable and profitable. If you have the right play style and understand the basics you can be successful,” Justin Garcia, online poker player said. “A few years ago, ‘Black Friday’ happened and that ended online poker in the U.S. So I can see how these gambling sites can be seen as unreliable. However, I think poker sites are very reliable.”

    One of the main selling points for DraftKings and FanDuel is that they have the quickest cash payouts. This is simply not true because the sites can only payout once the contest has concluded. For example, you cannot earn your money until after Monday night when betting on NFL football players.

    “In general, I believe that online poker sites are reliable and fair except for one notable exception. There was a huge scandal on FullTiltPoker several years ago when three founders of the site stole a lot of money from its subscribers,”Luke McArthy, avid poker player said. “I believe that those three men are still in ‘hiding’ to this day.

    DraftKings and FanDuel manage to trick people through their over-the-top advertising and appealing cash and prizes. The sites have combined to spend over $200 million on advertising this year. Their advertisements can be seen on any sports channel and are shown on nearly every commercial break. They are advertising their sites so much because they know they will earn the money that players spend on the site, despite their unfair game design.

    DraftKings and FanDuel have access to the insider information necessary to win money and do not release it to players. This ensures the fact that their site will always make more money than it gives out in prizes.

    This is exactly why these sites should be labeled as “chance-based” gambling sites and not “skill-based” games. These sites make sure that chances of winning are slim by making only certain players available to be picked on certain days. They also will make players available who are not currently on a roster for that day or that week.

    Jeff Rebello
    Staff Writer
    Published November 11th, 2015