Eleven hours ago, USA Today Sports posted an article written by Brent Schotenboer, about Mark Cuban’s stance wherein he is standing up for the fantasy sports industry. You know who he is, right? Mark Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and one of those sharks on the popular television show, Shark Tanks, among other things. He’s also the man who spoke out about realistic fear when Donald Sterling, the former owner of the L.A. Clippers [at least I’m pretty sure he’s the former owner] was accused of being racist and ousted from his post. Additionally, he’s a man who people tend to listen to, right?
According to the article by Schotenboer, Mark Cuban believes that the attorneys general in certain states might be trying to make a name for them as opposed to actually doing the right thing when they declared fantasy sports as an illegal operation. “Seeing politicians just do something for their skins on the wall, to try to make a name for themselves, that pisses me off, as much as anything.” is one of the quotes attributed to Cuban. Recently, Cuban addressed the Fantasy Sports Trade Association [FSTA] and while there he voiced his passionate support for having fantasy sports continue to operate even if that means that it leads to gambling being legalized.
Wow! I have to admit I’m very happy to see someone with such a commanding voice and as popular as Mr. Cuban led this fight. At times, it’s been incredibly lonely doing it all by myself! Of course, I am probably not as alone as I feel but for the past two years as I tweeted and talked on various radio shows about the ridiculousness of fantasy sports and sports betting being illegal in the United States. During that time, it’s not as though people seemed to want to rally around me. It’s as though many in the fantasy sports business wanted to differentiate their game from gambling by stating that it is skill based and therefore not a form of sports betting under the law[s] in many states. Me, I have not really seen the problem in having the two be closely connected, because I am an advocate to legalize both. Seriously, what’s the big deal?
Supposedly Mr. Cuban compared daily fantasy sports to playing your hand at the stock market and this is another thing I’ve been saying for years. Ever since I came up with the idea to have a contest using the domain www.mondaynightfantasy.com and people told me it was impossible because … well, let’s just say they had given me a million and one different reasons why it couldn’t be done.
One of the differences with investing in stocks vs. playing daily fantasy sports, in my opinion, has to do with disclosure. Public companies are required to divulge information to the public so that an investor can weigh pros and cons about making an investment. The way I see it, anything can happen no matter how skilled an investor you may be.
The key to having fantasy sports be legal and continue to operate is to admit that there is an element of luck involved BUT to work to amend the laws that disallow these sorts of games. Administrative agencies often govern policy and there’s absolutely no reason why fantasy sports should not be permitted to operate but there is a logical reason why they should be regulated. Just like other businesses in the United States of America that are regulated and required to disclose certain information so that the public is permitted to make choices based on information known at the time.