Under federal law, online sports betting is illegal.
The 2006 statute banning it was designed to crack down on the practice, but it excluded fantasy sports or sports simulation games. Thanks to this loophole, the law accidentally gave birth to a multi-billion dollar industry that has become the center of a national discussion on what constitutes online gambling.
Today, daily fantasy sports leagues offered by sites like DraftKings and FanDuel promise huge cash payouts for the biggest winners, but have also raised eyebrows. New York’s attorney general has already sought an order to have the sites shut down in his state on the basis that they’re illegal gambling operations, and law enforcement are dedicating resources to better understanding the industry.
FRONTLINE’s ‘The Fantasy Sports Gamble’ dives deep into the world of online sports betting and daily fantasy sports, the legality and ethical questions surrounding the industry, and where its future lies.
‘The Fantasy Sports Gamble’ will air tonight on PBS SoCal (KOCE) at 10 p.m. P.T.
Walt Bogdanich, investigations editor for the Business and Finance desk of The New York Times and a correspondent for the FRONTLINE documentary ‘The Fantasy Sports Gamble’