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    February 11, 2019 3:06 pm IST
    A new daily fantasy sports game that lets users hone in on a single NFL playoff game has some gambling experts wondering if the contest inches the industry closer to the territory of sports betting that remains illegal in most of the United States.

    The ”Showdown” variant offered by leading fantasy sports company DraftKings allows users to pick six athletes from two teams playing against each other in a real-life football game [url=http://www.sanjosesharksteamshop.com/authentic-brent-burns-jersey]Authentic Brent Burns Jersey[/url] , racking up fantasy points based on stats like touchdowns, receptions and yards passing, rushing or receiving. That means users playing ”Showdown” this weekend can wager on performances in the Jaguars-Steelers game Sunday without having to wait for the Saints-Vikings game to play out several hours later.

    The 2006 federal law that effectively banned online gambling but gave rise to daily fantasy sports requires daily fantasy contests to be based on the performances of athletes in ”multiple real-world” sporting events – not just single games. That detail is leading some advocates to question how DraftKings and regulators operate.

    ”This new game continues the industry trend of trying to get as close as possible to single game betting,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, which is neutral on legalized gambling but pushes for strong regulations and consumer protections.

    Whyte said the games ”further blur the largely fictional line between daily fantasy sports and sports betting.”

    DraftKings says the federal law – the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act – only applies if there’s an underlying violation of state gambling statutes first, and, so far, no state has objected to the competition.

    State laws vary widely, but policymakers in 18 states responded to the industry’s popularity by legalizing and regulating daily fantasy sports. Many of those regulations were developed with heavy lobbying from DraftKings and other industry leaders. Daily fantasy companies largely avoid another 10 states where laws are worded in ways that make it more difficult to operate.

    ”This act is basically irrelevant. Everything defaults to state law now,” said Anthony Cabot, the company’s outside legal counsel, referring to the federal law that the industry has long cited for justifying its existence. ”If it’s not in violation of state law, then there’s no violation of the federal act. It’s a big red herring.”

    The Boston-based company has also offered contests for other one-off events like NASCAR races and golf tournaments since 2015, without any complaints from regulators, he added.

    Daniel Etna, a New York sports lawyer who closely follows the sports gambling industry, said the game appears to comply with most if not all new state laws approved in recent years to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports.

    ”Contests like these push the very fine line between fantasy sports contests and general sports wagering [url=http://www.stlouisbluesteamshops.com/authentic-jaden-schwartz-jersey]Authentic Jaden Schwartz Jersey[/url] ,” said Jay McDaniel, deputy director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. ”It does, however, fall within our law’s definition of a fantasy contest.”

    In New York, the state Gaming Commission determined in December that the contest was legal because it’s based off how individual players perform in the game, and not the ”score, point spread or team’s performance,” said commission spokesman Brad Maione.

    One key is that ”Showdown” requires users to pick at least one player from each team in a single game. So fans choosing from the Titans-Patriots game on Saturday can’t just stack their lineup with Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and other New England stars without any Tennessee players.

    Jeffrey Ifrah, a Washington-based attorney specializing in online gambling, isn’t convinced there’s much appetite to enforce the laws, even if there was a conflict. Many of the new fantasy sports laws don’t even require states to approve new contests.

    ”None of these states really thought about this,” he said. ”They were given these laws to pass and they did it. There wasn’t a lot of legislative debate.”

    The U.S. Supreme Court is also weighing a bid by New Jersey to overturn the sports betting ban in effect in all but four states (Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon). A favorable ruling this year could make handwringing over daily fantasy sports moot.

    ”We would only look into a particular game if we received a complaint about it, which we have not in this case,” said Edward Grewach, general counsel for the Missouri Gaming Commission.

    ”We do not require review of every new game [url=http://www.stlouisbluesteamshops.com/authentic-vladimir-tarasenko-jersey]Authentic Vladimir Tarasenko Jersey[/url] , so no, we have not looked into it,” said Elaine Lidholm, a spokeswoman for Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees the industry.

    The single-game format could have implications beyond the early rounds of the NFL playoffs, where eight teams play in each of the first two weeks and four teams play during the conference championships. DraftKing’s chief rival, New York-based FanDuel, says it has ”exciting plans” for the Super Bowl, the most gambled on single game in the world.

    If successful during the NFL playoffs, variants like ”Showdown” could extend into the regular season next year and even potentially be offered for single games in other sports.



    Follow Philip Marcelo at Matt Kemp wasn’t supposed to last long in his return to Los Angeles. He was tabbed as trade bait after arriving from Atlanta in exchange for a salary dump by the Dodgers.

    The 33-year-old slugger has made himself at home again in a hurry.

    Kemp got three hits and drove in four runs, including a go-ahead homer leading off the eighth inning that rallied the Dodgers past the Colorado Rockies 6-4 on Sunday to prevent a sweep and end a three-game skid.

    Kemp is on track to earn his third All-Star nod and first since 2012. He’s the second-leading vote-getter, ahead of Washington’s Bryce Harper, among NL outfielders.

    ”That’s what the All-Star Game is, having a good first half,” Kemp said. ”My real focus is trying to get to the playoffs and win a championship, something I’ve never done.”

    Kemp was 1 for 6 in the first two games of the series, which the Dodgers lost by identical scores of 3-1. He has been solid in his last 14 games against Colorado, batting .438 with 11 RBIs.

    ”He showed in spring training he was in shape and was hitting from the start [url=http://www.tampabaylightningteamshop.com/authentic-nikita-kucherov-jersey]Authentic Nikita Kucherov Jersey[/url] ,” Dodgers starter Ross Stripling said.

    Kemp sent his 14th homer of the season over the center-field wall off Adam Ottavino (4-2) to put Los Angeles ahead 5-4. It was the Dodgers’ first homer of July after they hit a major league-leading and franchise-record 55 in June.

    One out later, Yasiel Puig doubled. Joc Pederson followed and reached on an infield single to second that DJ LeMahieu dived to stop. Puig made a heads-up baserunning play when he scored an insurance run after taking an extra base on Pederson’s hit.

    Puig took advantage of LeMahieu’s soft throw from his knees to first baseman Ian Desmond.

    ”DJ slipped,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”If DJ wanted to do it over again he would probably give a firmer throw to Desmond to get it back in.”

    Puig hopped back and forth before taking off for the plate, sliding belly first. He got up and swung his arms in wild celebration with the Dodgers ahead 6-4.

    ”I do my crazy move and score,” Puig said. ”I said in my mind, `He’s not going to throw me out, I’m going home.’ Not too many players who score from third base in that situation.”

    Kemp agreed, saying, ”Everyone is living right.”

    Kemp drove in the Dodgers’ first three runs with an RBI groundout in the first, a double in the third and a single in the fifth.

    Daniel Hudson (3-2) went one inning. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save.

    Nolan Arenado hit his team-leading 21st homer and had an RBI grounder, helping the Rockies take a 4-2 lead in the fifth.

    Rockies starter Chad Bettis was pulled after three innings because of fluid underneath a callus on his right middle finger. The right-hander allowed two runs and three hits, struck out two and walked two in his shortest outing of the season.

    ”It is really painful,” Bettis said. ”It is kind of something that is a little bit of a mental block trying to battle through that pain. I felt like it got to the point where I really needed to say something.”

    Stripling gave up four runs and a season-high nine hits in six innings. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one.

    TRAINER’S ROOM

    Rockies: RHP Bryan Shaw (right calf strain) will throw a bullpen session on Monday and simulated game on Wednesday. He is working on mechanics with his delivery and more consistent pitch locations.

    UP NEXT

    Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (7-6, 3.29 ERA) makes his second straight start against the Giants on Monday in the home opener of a three-game set. He is 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA at Coors Field in his career against them.

    Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (4-5, 4.00) starts on Monday in the opener of a three-game series against the Pirates. In eight games (seven starts) against them, Wood is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA.




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