My thoughts on HBO RealSports segment on daily fantasy

RealSports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO recently did a segment on the growing popularity of fantasy sports. The new addition to the show, Carl Quintanilia specifically explored the world of daily fantasy sports.

I've always loved the segments on RealSports and thought that the piece was done really well. These are some thoughts I had on the piece.

If daily fantasy sports doesn't want to be associated with gambling than it should not position itself next to gambling.
Quintanilia profiles daily fantasy player Corey Albertston in his day to day life of competing in daily baseball. Albertston got so good that he played himself into the FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship that was taking place in Las Vegas. And daily fantasy companies ask themselves why do they always get asked if this type of fantasy sports is gambling. Well if your companies always advertise with words such as "cash prizes", "winnings" and "payouts" and you are associated with your championship in Las Vegas, maybe daily fantasy sports is just like gambling.

Perhaps daily fantasy would better suit itself to compare itself to another emerging sport: eSports.
Recently, the DOTA 2 held their $1 million dollar grand prize tournament not in Las Vegas but in Seattle, Washington, home of Amazon, Expedia, T-Mobile and Microsoft.  While you may argue that gaming is not a sport, it is fair to say that computer gaming is a skill, which is exactly what daily fantasy sports wants to portray.

FanDuel     7 
DraftKings 3

In the battle between daily fantasy companies,  FanDuel won out against their bitter rival DraftKings in the PR war. FanDuel's CEO Nigel Eccles was featured in the segment and was able to promote FanDuel. I would give FanDuel the equivalent of a solid touchdown and extra point. DraftKings wasn't featured at all on air, however they did not get completely shut out as their CEO Jason Robins is featured in their web extras for RealSports. This round though goes to Fan Duel.

Loopholes, by their nature, will eventually be closed

The current exception for fantasy sports as a skill game, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006,  was referred in the segment as a loophole in the law by a leading law and business professor at the University of Illinois, John Kindt. "When you add the big money element, than you've gotten into gambling," according to Knidt. The law was written in a world when daily sports was not conceived up. Thus Kindt expects that this loophole would eventually be closed. That could mean that daily fantasy could meet the same demise as the online poker sites.

Daily fantasy stories are starting to hit the mainstream media and is starting to get scrutiny on the gambling question.