Amusing Piece from NBC on Fantasy Betting

I found this short article from NBC amusing in that it completely misses the point. It’s like Roseanne Roseannadanna who ended her rants with, “What? Oh… Nevermind!”

The piece starts with a disclaimer:

[Editor’s note: FanDuel is an advertiser of PFT and PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. Also, NBC Sports has an equity stake in FanDuel.]


Anyway, rather than address the real issue — why fantasy sports gambling is considered not to be gambling but poker (and other equally “games of skill”) is considered gambling — the article does a by-the-numbers That Damn Government! rant:

“the federal government reportedly is planning to get involved”

“Congress will hold hearings”

“It’s apparently now time for Uncle Sam and his 50 nieces and nephews to get their fair share, regardless of what is and isn’t objectively fair.”

Regardless of what is and isn’t objectively fair?  Huh?  The current law is not “objectively fair.”  Leaving things as they are would be the unfair decision.

Consider this example:  The speed limit is 55 mph.  A law is passed saying BMW cars can drive 80 mph, but all other cars must obey the 55 mph speed limit.  Is that “objectively fair”?

I got a real kick out of one of the comments.  When I rail against the dumbing down of America, this comment, and its thumbs-up support, is exactly what I have in mind:


What that guy wrote is idiotic beyond belief.  Chess is the very essence of a game of skill.  That’s why chess tournaments with entry fees and cash prizes are legal in every state in the union.  Then he fails to address the core of the problem, that being that fantasy betting is treated differently than poker.  He was factually wrong AND missed the point.  He hit the Daily Double!

And 39 of 41 people thought he made an excellent point and thumbs-upped him.  Only two disagreed.  That’s about 5 percent, or roughly the percentage of Americans who know there asses from a hole in the ground.

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8 Responses to Amusing Piece from NBC on Fantasy Betting

  1. Anonymous says:

    ESPN poised for big layoffs, job cuts. Will the Golf Channel be next?

    • lannyh says:

      Very interesting! This fantasy stuff is not helping them, either.

      I don’t mind paying $6/month for ESPN. I’d be willing to pay more for cable, but as it is, my only upgrade from what I have now is $40 more per month. I only want a handful of other channels and some of those are cheap ones (like History II, which is the real History Channel rather than reality shows…).

      Hey, something occurs to me. I hope ESPN lays off every single one of the people in the Scroll Department.

  2. Gambler says:

    Gambing – the activity or practice of playing at a game of chance for money or other stakes.

    Does that not accurately reflect Fantasy Sports?

    • lannyh says:

      If you have a spectrum and on one end is chess and on the other end is coin-flipping, I think poker is closer to chess than fantasy sports. And that Syde fantasy website basically gives you two “sydes,” and you pick one, which sounds suspiciously like a coin flip.

      • Gambler says:

        So I guess I’m a little confused on your position. Do you believe fantasy sports is gambling or not?

      • lannyh says:

        My position is that all games of chance should be treated the same. If you define poker as a “game of chance,” so too should you define fantasy sports as a “game of chance.”

        That might not be a satisfying answer to you, so I’ll add my own personal views, although they are not really germane to the issue.

        1. Yes, daily fantasy sports is gambling.
        2. I think gambling should be legal, and would be happy to see sports event betting made legal, as in England.

  3. JB says:

    Just for a sake of accuracy. It was the Emily Litella character who had the…”nevermind”…punchline.

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