Dueling with the Law: FOX43 Investigates the online game “FanDuel”

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It’s an online craze that is earning some people thousands of dollars each week. “FanDuel” is a pay to play sports league and depending how much you put in, it could mean a huge pay day.

Watching and discussing football on Sundays is a family affair in the Mider household in Lancaster County On one particular game day, Mike Mider saw a commercial that caught his eye.

“I have been playing regular Fantasy Football for a lot of years and just on the commercials NFL network,” says Lancaster County resident Mike Mider,  “they always have commercials with FanDuel,  so we just checked it out.”

But what exactly is FanDuel? It is a web-based game where you choose a sport and begin picking your teams. It works a lot like a fantasy football team as you select players for your roster but the big difference is you’re working with a salary cap to buy those players.

The other notable difference is rather than playing for an entire season, you can play week by week or even on a daily basis. You can wager anywhere from one dollar to thousands of dollars and the payouts can be pretty big. One man from Michigan won more than 600- hundred thousand dollars.

So by now you might be wondering is FanDuel even legal? It is for now and here is why… FanDuel’s CEO found an exemption to the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that basically says FanDuel is a game of skill unlike gambling that is a game of chance.

“I can’t tell them its illegal to do this,” says FOX43 analyst Steven Breit,” I can’t tell them its legal to do this.”

FOX43’s legal analyst Steven Breit  says it’s more of a gray area in the Keystone State.

” There is no laws in Pennsylvania that authorizes it,” says Breit “nor are there laws that prohibit it this would be an issue of a gaming license where the state would license these individuals to engage in this conduct in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Online gambling has not been legalized in Pennsylvania and as lawmakers continue to discuss the issue in Harrisburg on whether to do that, FanDuel could one day face sanctions and restrictions at the state level.

” Remember in the state of Pennsylvania, we’re going to try to keep our dollars in the state and I think what you are going to see is our legislators coming up with legislation that is going to sanction this conduct,” continues Breit,” licenses agencies to do this and regulate these agencies that are controlling this are not abusing this.”

For now, the company has found its place in the online world. Last year, it dished out more than 500 million dollars in winnings and is projected to pay out more than one billion dollars in 2015 to its customers. But if Pennsylvania will cash in is yet to been in the commonwealth.