Connecticut lawmakers look to regulate fantasy sports sites

In this Sept. 9, 2015 file photo, Devlin D'Zmura, a tending news manager at DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, works on his laptop at the company's offices in Boston. Customers of the two biggest daily fantasy sports websites have filed at least four lawsuits against the sites in Oct. 2015, following cheating allegations and a probe into the largely-unregulated multi-billion dollar industry. In court papers, the customers accused the DraftKings and FanDuel sites of cheating, and argued they never would have played had they known employees with insider knowledge were playing on rival sites. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– While you may be gearing up to wager a few bucks in your March Madness brackets, a different kind of sports betting is going on year round. Now Connecticut lawmakers at looking at regulating fantasy sports websites.

Fantasy sports leagues have been around for years. Here’s how they’ve always worked. You draft a team at the beginning of the season, and somebody wins the pot at the end of the season. But two websites,  DraftKings and FanDuel have turned that into a way to make money every day.

The websites let you pick a different fantasy team every day, play somebody else, and win possibly a lot of money right away. Virginia just became the first state to regulate these sites. Connecticut is looking at it. They just had a public hearing about it.

The push to regulate comes on the heels of a scandal in which sites were accused of letting employees play against other people, but the employees had inside information about how everybody else was betting. The Draft Kings website now clearly says that employees are not allowed to participate, and they brought in a former U-S Attorney to review the policies about that.

“So we’ll make sure that anyone who is in that position would not have the ability to participate – they or their family members, and really go beyond, say, the initial person who may be involved with that, so we really want to have the right protective measure if we move forward,” said Sen. Carlo Leone,(D) Stamford.

The other legal issue is whether this is a game of chance or a game of skill. Games of chance are kept to lottery games, the casinos and paramutual sites. Senator Leone there believes the fantasy sports sites are games of skill, because you have to assemble a good fantasy team in order to win. He also says the websites are safer than going to a bookie because you have to pay the websites up front with a credit card.

So when you lose, you’re in debt to a credit card company instead of a bookie. You still owe money, but I guess your kneecaps are safer.

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