Fantasy Sports: A Supreme Decision

Dr. Roto discusses what the recent Supreme Court decision means for the Fantasy Sports industry!

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Daily Dr. Roto—May 15, 2018

Supreme Decision

Yesterday, by majority vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) was unconstitutional. Thus, Congress may choose to act in a Federal capacity in this issue and create a law, but if Congress does not do so, then each state will decide on its own whether to allow legalized sports betting.

Just because the Supreme Court made its ruling, does not mean that legalized sports gambling will occur right away. Each state will have to create a bill that adopts various procedures (from gaming licenses to creating a gaming commission) to make sure that everything is done fairly and legitimately.

So, what does this verdict mean for Fantasy owners? That remains to be seen. For now, it appears as if Daily Fantasy Sports companies like FanDuel and DraftKings have been awaiting this verdict and are now intending to add to their array of contests. I would think that both sites will enter the betting market to some degree and we should see something to that effect before football season begins.

Many people are wondering if this verdict will hurt the DFS industry. I don’t think so. Season-long Fantasy sports and DFS are both information driven, and gamblers will want to use any and all information they can find to help them place their bets.


If anything, I think we will see the rise of Fantasy Sports within Sportsbooks. For instance, I think it will be possible to one day bet on which QB will throw for the most yards in a certain week with different QBs having different odds, like with horses in a horse race. I can also envision parlays where bettors will be able to pick one play from one pool and a player from a different pool and if they both win, then there is a larger payout. We might also see more brick and mortar sportsbooks like they have over in Europe. There, people can walk in off the street and make a bet as opposed to going only to a casino.

Regardless, I think this is a big day for our personal rights and freedoms. All too often the United States government intervenes in what it perceives to be in the best interests of its citizens. By only allowing legalized gambling in Nevada, the government was stopping people from exercising their right to spend their money in any way they wish. While gambling may be distasteful to some and possibly addicting to others, it is still our right to do what we wish with our own money.

It will be very interesting to watch the next few months to see which states legalize gambling and which states do not. It will also be interesting to see how the various professional sports decide to deal with this decision. I do not expect any rules to change, but I do expect each league’s commissioner to be even more pro-active in making sure that all games are fair and there is no impropriety.

As for Fantasy Sports experts like myself I truly believe we will be more valuable than ever. Not only can people win their Fantasy leagues with sage advice, they will also be able to use that same advice to make money in sports betting.  I am hoping I am right on this point but I wouldn’t bet on it just yet.

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