Estimates say between $6 million and $7 million could flow into state coffers.
Think Carson Wentz will have a big day? Believe Ben Simmons will go off in his next game?
(We’d include a Phillie here but, seriously, you probably don’t want a Phillie on your fantasy sports team.) The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimated 59.3 million people in the United States and Canada participated in fantasy sports in 2015. They spend more than $550 each a year playing the games. So fantasy sports is a big, and growing, industry.
Now, New Jersey might get in on the action.
As of last week, Assembly Bill 3532 was awaiting Gov. Christie’s signature (he came back from the beach, right?). The bill would regulate and tax daily fantasy sports and, perhaps most importantly, generate revenue for the state, which, if you haven’t heard, could use the dough. Estimates say between $6 million and $7 million could flow into state coffers.
In addition to the monetary benefits, the measure would provide some oversight to an industry that could use some oversight. A couple of years ago, the New York Times broke a story about allegations that pretty much amounted to insider trading among the largest daily fantasy sports site operators.
So, yeah, sign the bill, governor.
But before you rush to sign up or to replenish your account, keep in mind participating in daily fantasy sports, while, in the state’s opinion, a game of skill, is just millimeters over the line from gambling. Be prepared to lose your money.
We won’t bash those who participate in daily fantasy sports as we have, shall we say, firsthand experience with the product. Indeed, it adds an element of excitement to watching sports, even though your friends might wonder why you’re watching a blowout game and cheering wildly for a random guy on a team that’s about to lose.
But, as they say, bet with your head, not over it — even though, technically, it’s not betting.