Why fantasy sports need to be regulated

James Kay, Graphics Editor

This past month, fantasy sports have been called into question after two of the biggest fantasy sports operations, FanDuel and DraftKings, have been accused of insider trading. A DraftKings employee won $350,000 after entering a FanDuel contest, which resulted in outrage from other contestants of the general public. Since fantasy sports were excluded from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006, there are little to none regulations stopping incidents like this to transpire. Now that fantasy sports have become a billion dollar industry, it is time for the government to step in, and put laws in place so that fantasy participants are protected from the greed of these up and coming corporations.   


If you aren’t familiar with fantasy sports, you probably associate FanDuel and DraftKings by their annoying, cinematic commercials. They preach of the possibility that any one of us will become a millionaire if we enter their weekly, sometimes daily, fantasy contests. While there is a chance that someone could wind up with a massive amount of money, the odds of winning are slim. You must rely on the health and productivity of the players you choose to insert into your lineup, while also trying to guess who will have a break out performance that week based on different matchups. Depending on if your players have good statistical performances, you may be able to make a profit.


This is where fantasy sports become complicated. Since we cannot be certain that the players we own will live up to our expectations for that week in fantasy, we can only take a chance on them. Yes, we can look at how they have performed in previous weeks, and make an educated guess on how they will play, but that is the extent of what we know. When people bet on the Kentucky Derby they base their prediction on how that horse has done in previous races. If a horse has won the majority of the races it has competed in it is safe bet that they have the best chance of winning. That being said, it is still not a shoo-in that horse will win the race, and therefore it is considered gambling. It is the exact same thing with fantasy sports, except that it is all done online. The number one ranked player one week could very well turn in a subpar performance the next week.


Since Fantasy sports have veered into the same realm as casinos they should be treated the same way. The rules need to be clearly stated and accessible to everyone who chooses to be a part of the fantasy world. The amount of money going in and out of these companies must be documented and presented to the general public so they know exactly how much of their money is going to the potential winner, and just as important, how much of it is going to the employees and higher ups of the company. Employees of these companies should be banned from participating in contests that have cash rewards, so that there isn’t another incident involving insider trading. Having it any other way leaves loyal fantasy participants open to being manipulated, which isn’t the point of this light hearted activity. Even with billions of dollars on the table, the spirit of fantasy sports should not be overruled by opportunistic corporations.