I admittedly cringed reading the press release last week regarding the NFL's latest greedy fraud innovation planned for three prominent stadiums this season with more to come. Maybe it's jealously or cynicism but who could take it at surface value sincerely believing the honest intent for the Draft Kings NFL Fantasy Lounge?
Yup, the NFL has sanctioned fantasy sports indeed by putting their stamp on "official fantasy sports lounges" beginning in Dallas, New England and Kansas City stadiums. You'll be able to watch other NFL games in there. You'll be able to eat, drink and root for other teams there. You'll be able to talk about other players, coaches and swear as loud as you want there. But there's one thing you are 100% forbidden to do there mister. You CANNOT BET THERE!!
I'm not even sure you can talk about betting there. Or can you? It depends on who or what you define you're betting on. Or even if you consider yourself betting.
If you're chatting it up about your Draft Kings roster for a Sunday contest that's cool, because according to the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 you are a skilled person utilizing skill with no luck whatsoever to achieve your goal of competing in a fair contest to defeat other skilled players! The fact that you spent anywhere from $1 to $1,000 that morning compiling your NFL player roster to enter makes no difference whatsoever.
But if you are discussing or played a meager $5.00 two-team NFL parlay with an offshore sportsbook like a Bovada, BetOnline or Diamond Sports you are unwelcome. That shows evidence you are determining your fortune on pure luck, not skill. Also, that you are gambling or discussing gambling and interfering with the goodwill purpose of the lounge and its intent. Got it?
Yes, I am being quite cynical in laying out the example this way. But what jury could be convinced that a sports lounge with several giant screen televisions of other games in an NFL stadium could draw interest of people focused on Fantasy Wagering results? Please.
Another irony is the NFL's growing promotion of games played at Wembley Stadium in London, England. In this venue you can indeed bet your favorite NFL teams at kiosks prominent within the stadium or outside in London with respected European bookmakers like William Hill or Ladbrokes. The fantasy to the blokes in the seats there is why we in the U.S. are legally sanctioned to bet (I mean draft) on groups of our players un-collectively but not to trust betting on them as a team. The NFL explains that as ruining "the integrity of the game". Yes, we don't have to look up on Wikipedia what NFL Commissioner Goodell means by the word integrity. See: Paul Hornung and Alex Karrass, Green Bay Packers.
The AT&T Stadium Draft Kings Fantasy Lounge
Not surprising, the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones announced the most enthusiastic long-term partnership agreement with Draft Kings. In making the announcement Jones proclaimed Draft Kings shared the Cowboys passion for football, sports and business making it a natural partnership.
So, imagine you paid an average $500 for your beloved Dallas Cowboys seat at AT&T Stadium. You are watching a big game with the Eagles in front of the legendary Cowboys cheerleaders and the 60 yard long scoreboard. Are you getting up to hang out at the Draft Kings Fantasy Lounge to check out how many rushing yards LeSean McCoy has because you drafted him in a contest against 3,000 people that morning for two dollars? Do you think there might be someone in the lounge screaming with a Texas-size wager on the Steelers or the Bills?
One thing's for sure. The NFL will be very happy that Tony Romo will be in a Dallas, Texas building and not Las Vegas, Nevada involving fantasy sports. You may recall that the NFL shut down Romo's Fantasy Wagering Convention in June, angering the QB and many enthusiastic attendees at the show. Apparently you can't talk about fantasy sports where legalized, regulated wagering on NFL football takes place. Only where it doesn't take place. Huh? So if you are confused that is no fantasy. Maybe e-mail Commissioner Goodell and ask if he wants to spend another $3 million for an investigation.
Glenn Greene Proves he's Not Full of HOT AIR!!
Congrats to "The Teflon Tom", Tom Brady, for keeping his undefeated streak alive of winning just about everything in life he attempts. Beautiful model wives, Super Bowls, surviving car accidents scratch-less and now NFL suspensions. This handsome guy walks away unscathed with trophies at everything possible.
Here's the good news. His good fortune could have also been yours as well if you listened to my advice back on July 30th.
Predicting superb value and the possibility the defendant Mr. Brady would walk, I advised all to plunk down all the cash you desired on the New England Patriots at EVEN MONEY for their opener vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers this Thursday night. The current line at top offshore sportsbook Diamond Sports is now -6.5 as it is will likely be approaching -7 at Bovada, Heritage, BetOnline and other premium offshore sportsbooks as this eagerly awaited game kicks off.
Combine this with the Steelers rash of recent injuries, their problems on defense and uninspired pre-season play, the money will be flowing in on Tommy Boy and the Super Bowl Champions. That doesn't guarantee a Pats win. But can you imagine getting a full seven point boost in an NFL game this season to bet with? Don't. That would be a fantasy.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding NFL previews and picks from Glenn, click here.