Greetings from the Godfather Of Fantasy Sports

It’s been a while since I last posted, sorry about that. I’ll try to post something weekly. So what was it that got my attention and made me want to comment?

The Fidelity investment firm fired 4 people for playing fantasy football…here’s the link to the story.

Said Fidelity spokesman Vin Loporchio: “We have clear policies that relate to gambling. Participation in any form of gambling through the use of Fidelity time or equipment or any other company resource is prohibited. In addition to being illegal in a lot of places, it can also be disruptive. We want our employees to be focused on our customers and clients.”

While I have no problems with Fidelity having such policies, I do have a major problem with Mr. Loporchio’s assertion that fantasy football is some form of gambling. Perhaps Mr. Loporchio should review that guidelines that were established in the carve out language used in the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act that became law in October of 2006.

Here’s what was passed into law if Mr. Loporchio would like to review it and see if his employees were engaged in something other than this…

(ix) participation in any fantasy or simulation sports game or educational game or contest in which (if the game or contest involves a team or teams) no fantasy or simulation sports team is based on the current membership of an actual team that is a member of an amateur or professional sports organization (as those terms are defined in section 3701 of title 28) and that meets the following conditions:

(I) All prizes and awards offered to winning participants are established and made known to the participants in advance of the game or contest and their value is not determined by the number of participants or the amount of any fees paid by those participants.

(II) All winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals (athletes in the case of sports events) in multiple real-world sporting or other events.

(III) No winning outcome is based—(aa) on the score, point-spread, or any performance or performances of any single real-world team or any combination of such teams; or (bb) solely on any single performance of an individual athlete in any single real-world sporting or other event.

With over 25 million people playing fantasy sports games in our country, and probably many of them Fidelity customers or potential customers, this is a tough stance for them to take. They run the risk of many of their customers closing their accounts and moving them to other companies, as many fantasy football players would not like to do business with a company that feels they are gamblers or misinterprets the laws of our government…interesting because some might believe it’s more like gambling when their customers are investing funds with them!

I for one will be canceling any account I have with fidelity on Monday!

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