Right now there really is no government authority that oversees fantasy sports, the way gambling regulators oversee sports betting in Nevada.
The recent scandal involving could bring calls for greater government oversight of the industry, if not calls for an outright ban.
Is fantasy sports legal?
The. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which Congress passed in 2006, specifically says fantasy sports are allowed under federal law because they are classified as a card game. The only caveat is that players may not bet on the outcome of a single game or the performance of a single player.
But fantasy sports are banned in five states — Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Washington. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association is lobbying to change the laws in those states.
How big a business is fantasy sports?
Big. Overall, the industry brings in about $1.5 billion a year in revenue. Most of that money comes from advertising on the sites. Sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel pay out more than 90% of the fees they collect as prize money in order to attract players to the game.
Many of the major media and Internet companies such as Disney’s (DIS) ESPN unit, Yahoo (YHOO) and CBS (CBS) have become major players in the business.
DraftKings and FanDuel have each raised about $300 million from investors and have valuations in the billions. Their investors include sports leagues such as Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, as well as owners of several NFL and NBA teams.
What is the fastest growing part of fantasy sports?
DraftKings and FanDuel have grown rapidly by offering so-called daily games, where players pick a team for only one day, or in the case of football, one week.
Traditionally, fantasy sports leagues competed over the same period of time as the real sports league that they tracked. But these leagues can be time consuming to play.