UIGEA Co-Author: ‘Never Intended to Cover Daily Fantasy Sports’

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
May/09/2015
UIGEA Co-Author: ‘Never Intended to Cover Daily Fantasy Sports’

In a riveting piece written this past week on the ThinkProgress.com website, reporters Sacha Friedman and Josh Israel delve into the bold new world of daily fantasy sports.

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With the exception of a few states, fantasy sports were exempt from federal legislation banning most forms of online gambling.

At the time, co-author of that measure – the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act or UIGEA for short – could not have conceived of the daily element to fantasy sports, which many argue mimics a form of gambling. 

“My intent in initiating the law was to constrain a growing gambling ethos in America that could bring the casino to the home, the work station, college dorm, even the treadmill,” UIGEA co-author and former Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) recalled.  “My concern was that a savings and investing country could too easily become a country where too many would bet wantonly on unrealistic hopes of obtaining a big payoff, a number of Members indicated they couldn’t support it if it didn’t make a minor exception for fantasy sports,” Leach said he reluctantly agreed to add the exemption “on the assumption that nothing in the endeavor could be used to incentivize corruption of any actual sports contests being played.”

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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