It’s time to speak up, online poker players

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You should be angry. No, check that, you should be beyond irate. Why? Online daily fantasy sports is gaining momentum and regulation throughout the country. It’s up for consideration or has passed legislation in more than a handful of states, including New York. It’s only a matter of time before most of the country will be allowed to play DFS without fear of government retribution or shutdown.

While we’d never begrudge anyone the opportunity to legally spend their money how they see fit, we refuse to live with a double standard.

Sure, regular fantasy sports had a carve-out consideration passed years ago, and that’s just fine. But now the industry has used that toe in the door to expose the law and expand it. Why should you care? The business model/skill argument for online DFS is no different than online poker.

Only three states have been enlightened enough to pass legislation regulating online poker for their citizens: Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey. While we applaud those efforts, player liquidity is making it difficult for them to survive, much less thrive. We need federal regulation now, especially with a new administration headed our way in January.

With the DFS momentum, it should be made clear this vehicle for competition is remarkably similar to online poker, so much so that many online poker pros and amateurs made the transition to DFS.

Those players deposit money on a site, just like online poker, they enter tournaments that pit their skills against each other, just like online poker, and when the competition is over, those who perform the best win a prize pool, just like online poker. They have guaranteed prize pools and even overlays. Without getting into too much minutia, the common attributes are staggering.

Want to do something about it? Write your local representatives, call this travesty to their attention and even reach out to the Poker Players Alliance (theppa.org) to see what else you can do.
Hopefully someday soon we will see you at the online tables.

— Christopher Cosenza and Scott Long
Ante Up publishers