THE PERVERSION OF FANTASY SPORTS

For years fantasy sports have been around. Fantasy football, baseball and basketball have been innocent ways of getting friends and acquaintances together on a draft night to see who can be the lucky one to win a competition. It is hard to explain to non-participants but the idea is to try to be the equivalent of an amateur general manager of a certain sport who drafts or chooses players for your team with the idea of getting the most points per week and for the season. You put a little money into an overall pot with money to be distributed to the winner of who gets the most points for a week and for a season. Wouldn’t you know it, eventually the big boys figured out how to make it real gambling and trouble has broken out across the country with entities known as DraftKings and FanDuel.

It is a shame really, in that millions of Americans play fantasy football. CBSSPORTS.com has a web site for example, devoted to helping local fantasy teams do the computer scoring for your teams. NFL.com and CBS both hire so-called experts to supposedly help you know who to draft and win in your neighborhood league of fantasy football. With an estimated 40 million participants being involved it has become a cottage industry.

Things this year have become more involved with real gambling with the advent of DraftKings and FanDuel. Stay away sports fans this is real gambling. Anytime professional gamblers can figure out a way to make a lot of money you have potential trouble with the threat of and the reality possibility of cheating the participants, with the promise of making millions of dollars. You see how gullible people are every day when they put millions of dollars into state regulated lotteries. Well, the risk is there now that a lot of people can be cheated out of their hard earned money with this latest come on.

Now we see what is happening nationwide regarding fantasy sports. Nevada has just cracked down on DraftKings and FanDuel saying that they can not operate without a gambling license.

With millions of dollars being involved the opportunity is there to corrupt one of America’s favorite sports professional football.

Baseball had its day with the Black Sox scandal. Every dugout in Major League Baseball has a sign warning each player to not gamble on their sport. The reason should be obvious, you want to keep the players honest, honest in their effort on the field of play each day that they will not be influenced by some gambler to throw a game for a price.

The NFL needs to make it clear to the players in their league that gambling on their sport will not be tolerated. Each state in our nation needs to adopt a law to protect the potential gambler from fraud being committed by DraftKings or FanDuel. Gambling needs to be regulated. The integrity of our major sports in our country needs to be protected from the potential criminal actions of what amounts to gambling entities. Personally I wish we could return to the simple days of our neighborhood fantasy leagues with the innocent fun that is had by the millions of Americans who participate. But we have this new reality that we have to deal with. Beware sports fans, gambling is dangerous to your financial well being.

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