US states branded hypocritical over DFS stance

US states branded hypocritical over DFS stance

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Mondogoal's Shergul Arshad believes DFS is a skill game like poker

The United States has been branded as hypocritical when it comes to its approach to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) compared to other gambling pursuits.

Shergul Arshad, CEO of DFS firm Mondogoal, said that Delware’s recent decision to ban DFS in the state has come as no surprise, despite the willingness to allow other types of gambling behaviour.

Arshad told TotallyGaming.com: "Mondogoal isn't surprised at all at the Delaware decision. If online poker can be banned across America, something that is clearly a skill game, then a skill game like DFS stands to end up with similar state stances. We find the States by and large very hypocritical - yes to horserace betting and the lottery but no to sports betting, poker and split around DFS.”

Arshad said that the regulatory situation around the US means that Monodgoal cannot be treated as a fully functioning market. “With so much uncertainty, our stance to treat the US as a grey market seems continually to be the best tactic. We have had minimal advertising waste in the US largely because we feared any dollar spent on a state like Delaware, would now be a wasted dollar."

The Delaware Department of Justice (DOJ) dealt a blow to DFS operators earlier this week with the announcement that real money games will no longer be permitted in the state by law.

Cease and desist letters were sent to companies that operate in Delaware, such as DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo,  by the DOJ stating that its residents must be added to the list of those that are unable to receive any cash prizes on their platforms.

Delaware state Attorney General Matthew Denn and his team have taken the viewpoint that DFS games do not constitute games of skill as the operators argue, but are considerably more due to luck.

An official DOJ statement explained its stance by saying that whilst it is understood that there is an element of skill in selecting both the players and line ups, the DFS players themselves then have "no role in how these players actually perform once the real-life games or events occur."

It continued: "the most skilled participants might lose and the less skilled participants might win" because "real life players are human and human behaviour is unpredictable."

The statement concluded: "We are certain that many Delaware residents and visitors would enjoy participating in the full array of fantasy sports contests, including those that require payment for participation and have cash awards.

"But until such contests can be offered legally, the DOJ must enforce the law."

Totally Gaming Says: “The post-New York decision party, which saw the legalisation of DFS, was still in full swing but this news from Delaware has put something of a dampener on it. Last month the state of New York moved to legalise and regulate real money DFS operations, and whilst Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to sign the bill, it’s been passed and it’s believed to be only a matter of time before it becomes law. For Delaware to take such an opposite view has taken the wind out of the sails of the industry.

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