Daily fantasy sports betting going down the same road as online poker

World Series of Poker. You can play against how many ever opponents you want. People were having fun. Some, eventually, got their money back. There are the various buy-ins, ranging from free, to a single dollar, to as much as several hundreds of dollars. Poker After Dark. These sites gain popularity. The New York State Attorney General sent out cease and desist letters a week ago to FanDuel and DraftKings. Online poker sites that once would be lucky to have 1,000 players online at any given time now had over 200,000– many of them “fish,” a term used to describe bad players. Advertising for sites like PokerStars and PartyPoker were inundating the airwaves. Mike Sexton became a household name for many. Just a word of advice– Don’t keep too much money on the sites.

It was only a matter of time. Poof! Just like that. The government, especially, notices they aren’t getting their piece of the action. Money was changing hands. The bottom line is the government will always want a piece of the action. The government will, eventually, shut down daily fantasy sports betting just like it did to online poker wagering.

Wrong, said the United States government. They enjoyed the proliferation of the game into mainstream media. Not everyone may know how to play poker, but nearly everyone watches football. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, because as popular as online poker may have been (and it was enormously popular), fantasy football is even bigger and more mainstream. Money in players’ accounts was frozen and seized. And you can play as many times as you want. There has been the scandal questioning the integrity of the game. A poker player can calculate the odds of a certain card hitting the table as much as any fantasy sports bettor can calculate the odds of a certain hitter getting a base hit against a certain pitcher.

Former online poker players have seen this story play out before. Any online poker player who has visited DraftKings will find an eery familiarity between the lobby area of the online fantasy sports site and their old favorite online poker websites. Poker is just as much a game of skill as betting on fantasy sports. The government has begun to take notice. Basically, the New York A.G. Advertising is annoyingly saturating the airwaves. And they must sit and wonder how these sites have gotten away with this as long as they have. How about head-to-head with just one other opponent? You could even create your own tournaments with as many, or as few, players as you like.

So what is happening to daily fantasy sites like FanDuel and DraftKings comes as no surprise to former online poker players. ESPN and NBC couldn’t get enough poker programming. No one was being hurt. The two fantasy sports sites have chosen to ignore the injunction and elected to continue to take bets from New York residents. FanDuel and DraftKings are suing the New York Attorney General.

Enjoy it while it lasts, friends. It’s the same pattern. PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker were closed for business to all American players. is banning fantasy sports betting by New York residents. They generate a lot of money. The government calls daily fantasy sports betting “gambling.” The accused sites argue that fantasy sports is a “game of skill” and not “gambling.” The government goes after the payment processors for the various sites.

The online poker player is very familiar with these game setups. Some are still waiting.. They witnessed the boom of poker. You want to play in a tournament against thousands of others with the chance for a huge payout? Or do you want to just “grind” out a steady profit? You could play single “games” against only fifty people, twenty, or nine– how many ever you want. The public outcry will be huge if fantasy sports betting is deemed illegal.

The legal wrangling has already begun in one state. They cause a lot of buzz. Online players were in heaven. On April 15, 2011 — a day known as “Black Friday” among the online poker community — the United States government shut down the three big online poker sites. Right?

Those who played online poker for a living know how this is going to end

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