The American Gaming Association has had what some would consider a questionable history when it comes to supporting online gambling in the United States. Because their primary backers are those involved with land-based gambling, it's hard to know exactly where their motives lie when they make statements about the online sector, and this includes daily fantasy sports. They've made some statements about DFS, and it seems like they're wanting to use it as leverage to expand sports betting.
Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting
In their statements, the AGA seemed very quick to pair DFS and traditional sports betting together. They framed it as looking for a "rational alternative" to today's sports betting law in the United States, which is pretty ridiculous in and of itself. Sports betting is only allowed by federal law in certain states, and all online sports betting is outlawed by the Wire Act from the 1960s, a law that came decades before the Internet was ever used for betting.
The AGA's Motives
In a time when daily fantasy sports leagues have worked hard to keep the traditional sports betting label at a distance, it's really interesting to see the AGA jump the gun and lump them all together right off the bat. They took the angle that unregulated sports betting can undermine the integrity of the games, and this seems like an underhanded shot at daily fantasy sports, which so far have been outside of the reach of influence of big land-based casino businesses. This would fit in line with how many of the companies that back the AGA think online slots and online poker are going to destroy the land-based business and take away their profits.
Unless we're reading this completely wrong, and it doesn't seem like we are, it looks like the AGA is making an underhanded attack on the daily fantasy sports leagues. This just makes one more big enemy for the DFS industry as a whole, and it'll be interesting to see if they're going to be able to recover. This is so interesting because they've made big deals with ESPN and major sports leagues, who are traditionally completely against being associated with sports betting. Maybe that should tell the AGA something about lumping in sports betting with DFS.