Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
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Thursday, July 14, 2005
Legality of Fantasy Sports Leagues

Professor Christine Hurt of Marquette University Law School has an excellent post concerning the legality of fantasy sports leagues on her blog Conglomerate. Christine, who teaches corporate law, is conducting research on gambling and the stock market, and has included fantasy sports leagues in her research model. Here is an excerpt from her post:
But Fantasy Sports are impervious to regulation and completely out in the open where any one can play. ESPN, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, the television networks, just about everybody has a fantasy sports site where you and your friends can create a fantasy sports league and be provided various levels of statistics and analysis for various fees. No one in Congress seems to care, and the "league managers," or site sponsors, seem not to know that within these sports leagues, gambling takes place. They would be shocked, shocked to realize that people were not playing for the mere love of the game . . .

In all three bills introduced in the 108th Congress seeking to prohibit Internet gambling (H.R. 21, H.R. 2143, and S. 627, the definition of "bets and wagers" excluded two types of activities. The first exclusion applies to stocks, commodities, derivatives, and insurance products. (Interesting that we would have to sort that out.) The second exclusion was: Fantasy Sports!!!

For more, check out the post. It is very interesting, and we look forward to discussing this topic in future posts. For past coverage, check out Greg's excellent post on the ownership of sports statistics (3/21/05).