BOSTON (AP) — A new daily fantasy sports game that lets users hone in on a single NFL playoff game has some gambling experts wondering if the contest inches the industry closer to the territory of sports betting that remains illegal in most of the United States.
The “Showdown” variant offered by leading fantasy sports company DraftKings allows users to pick six athletes from two teams playing against each other in a real-life football game, racking up fantasy points based on stats like touchdowns, receptions and yards passing, rushing or receiving. That means users playing “Showdown” this weekend can wager on performances in the Jaguars-Steelers game Sunday without having to wait for the Saints-Vikings game to play out several hours later.
The 2006 federal law that effectively banned online gambling but gave rise to daily fantasy sports requires daily fantasy contests to be based on the performances of athletes in “multiple real-world” sporting events — not just single games. That detail is leading some advocates to question how DraftKings and regulators operate.
“This new game continues the industry trend of trying to get as close as possible to single game betting,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, which is neutral on legalized gambling but pushes for strong regulations and consumer protections.
Whyte said the games “further blur the largely fictional line between daily fantasy sports…