Metro-Edmonton; Kashmala Fida Published on Mon Oct 23 2017
Is the manager of a fantasy football hockey team no different than a gambler at the slots?
A postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta is trying to find the answer to that, by leading research in the emerging area of daily fantasy sports and whether or not it’s gambling.
“It’s a very new phenomenon blending gambling and video games,” said Mark Johnson, in an email to Metro.
Previously a professional poker player, Johnson said he noticed commonalities between poker and fantasy sports betting as a “new phenomenon at the play-money intersection.”
Daily fantasy sports is when an individual acts as a manager and creates his own “fantasy teams” of real-world athletes.
Those selections are then pitted against other manager’s teams in the same sports and they make or lose money depending on the statistics of the players in the real games.
In the U.S, over the last couple of years there has been intense discussion over the legal status of fantasy sports. Some consider it gambling and believe it should be regulated by the state whereas others don’t.
There has been legal action against the only two main daily fantasy sports companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, after accusations of employees playing with insider information. In Aug. 2016, the state of New York passed a bill deeming fantasy sports legal, calling it a game of skill.
Meanwhile in Canada, there has been very little research or discussion on the subject.
Jake Logan Jones, a technical research and marketing specialist in Edmonton, has been participating in fantasy hockey since grade school, although he started doing it for money a few years back.
Jones does not believe it’s actually gambling.
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