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Sport Betting is a Skill Claims the NFL and DOJ

July 22, 2015

Just uncovered court documents reveal that the opinions of both the NFL and the United States Justice Department are that sports betting is more about skill than it is chance, a very important legal distinction that could shape expanded legalization of betting on sports in the United States.

Skilled based contests are more likely to be allowed under the law in the U.S.

Those statements, uncovered by ESPN, were by the legal counsel of both the NFL and the DOJ in 2013. During that same year, New Jersey was sued by the NFL in an attempt to prevent that state from offering a legal form of sports betting.

During 2013, the niche market Daily Fantasy Sports was just being developed. Now two years later close to half of the teams in the NFL are partnered with one of the two huge sites for Daily Fantasy Sports – FanDuel and Draftkings.

During 2013, Loretta Lynch the current U.S. Attorney General was the U.S. Attorney for New York’s Eastern District. She wrote that sports betting involved substantial skill. Sports bettors she added can employ far superior knowledge of teams, players and games to exploit the odds.

Lynch mentioned a prominent businessman and sports bettor in Las Vegas Billy Walters as one example of the world of sports betting being a skill.

Lynch explained as well how certain bettors move the betting lines, a technique that is similar to bluffing during poker.

She wrote that while sports bettors cannot influence legally the outcome of games, sports bettors can and often do influence the point spread or the betting line to improve their own odds of being successful in their bet.

In specific, she said a bettor intending to make a large bet on a specific team might first place one or even more strategic, smaller bets on the opposing team to move a betting line in his favor for what was his intended big bet.