Washington Politician Compares Daily Fantasy Industry to El Chapo

By Jason Lisk

Are Daily Fantasy companies like DraftKings and FanDuel about to be interviewed by Sean Penn, wherein he talks about travel flatulence on his way to the Millionaire Maker? One Washington state  politician who has submitted a bill has made the connection between the practices of the Daily Fantasy industry and El Chapo, the notorious Mexican drug lord. According to Daily Fantasy Talk, Washington state representative Christopher Hurst is introducing a bill that would make operating or advertising a fantasy sports contest a Class C felony.

"“(Fantasy sports) is a natural extension of a great American pastime,” Hurst said. “What we have here are a couple of companies that are stealing money from the people who play, running horribly misleading and untrue advertising, and actually taking bets in the state, which is a felony every time they do it.” “This is no different than El Chapo down in Mexico advertising heroin or methamphetamine on our airways a thousand times a day to get kids to try it.” He went on to clarify that the law only targets for-profit business that take a handle from fantasy sports entry fees.“This is one of the most horrifically run criminal enterprises parading as a legitimate business that I’ve ever seen,” Hurst said."

The level of hyperbole is off the charts as politicians and district attorneys grandstand, but this is Grade A. I am philosophically in favor of Daily Fantasy Sites (which I do think are gambling in the practical sense, just like sports line betting). However, I do think that it is an industry that needs oversight–and brought some of that on itself. Go read Jay Caspian Kang’s piece in the New York Times, and I share some of those frustrations with the rampant use of scripts and such.

That said, going all the way to El Chapo might be a tad much.