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Fantasy Basketball is not Gambling

Why Fantasy Basketball is not Gambling

by ja (01/25/2010)

One of the common questions that we often get here at SignAndTrade.com is whether playing fantasy basketball is gambling. The short answer is “no, fantasy basketball is not gambling”. However, there are actually several reasons why it is not gambling in the legal “game of chance” sense so I'm going to quickly go over a few.

Before I do though, let me say, that you cannot gamble at SignAndTrade.com and we intend to keep it that way. We are not saying that gambling is immoral or wrong in any way, but it is often a touchy topic and not necessary to confront within our business so we will simple err on the side of caution. We are a family friendly site dedicated to providing family entertainment and quality information relating to the game of basketball.

Now that I got that out of the way let's talk about why fantasy basketball is not gambling. First, from a strictly legal perspective, gambling is a game of chance. Playing slots online or betting on your favorite sports team in their upcoming match, while certainly entertaining, are considered gambling because those participating in the bets have no control over the outcome. Contrast this with fantasy sports and you will quickly see that in fantasy sports the team managers have a lot of control. They build their own team, adjust their own rosters, choose who to bench, who to start and at what position. For this reason, fantasy basketball and fantasy sports in general is instead known to be a “game of skill”.

Still not sure after that short explanation? Well, even the US government specifically excluded fantasy sports games from being made illegal due to gambling legislation in the recent past. The United States Government passed the “Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act” (HR 4411) in 2006 which was designed to prevent internet based gambling. The law included a carve out that clarified the legality of fantasy sports. Specifically, it exempted:


"participation in any fantasy or simulation sports game or educational game or contest in which (if the game or contest involves a team or teams) no fantasy or simulation team is based on the current membership of an actual team that is a member of an amateur or professional sports organisation and meets the following conditions:

1. All prizes and awards offered to winning participants are established and made known to the participants in advance of the game or contest and their value is not determined by the number of participants or the amount of any fees paid by participants.
2. All winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals (athletes in the case of sports events) in multiple real-world sporting or other events.
3. No winning outcome is based:
a. On the score, point spread, or any performance or performances of any single real world team or any combination of such teams;
or b. Solely on any single performance of an individual athlete in any single real-world sporting or other event."

As you can see, fantasy basketball is not gambling in the legal sense. It does in fact enable its participants to display an exceptional amount of skill, knowledge, creativity, and mathematical prowess. As you enjoy our site we hope you will find this information both interesting and valuable.

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