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Is Fantasy Football Gambling?

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While you are enjoying Monday Night Football consider this: Is Fantasy Football gambling?

The former Attorney General for the State of Florida was of the opinion that the operation of a fantasy sports league which collect a fee and awards a cash prize to one winner to the exclusion of all others, does violate Florida’s gambling laws.  Florida Chapter 849 says in pertinent part: “Whoever stakes, bets or wagers any money or other thing of value upon the result of any trial or contest of skill, speed or power or endurance of man or beast…or whoever knowingly becomes the custodian or depository of any money or other thing of value so staked, bet, or wagered upon any such result…shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”  Thus, contests in which chance, rather than the skill of the participating contestant, predominates are generally prohibited. Clearly this includes lotteries.  It does not include golf.  In golf, it is called a purse, the difference being that the skill of the participant factors into the prize.  Mightn’t it be argued that skill is involved in the selection of a successful fantasy team by requiring knowledge of the varying abilities and skills of the professional football players who will be selected to make up the fantasy team?