Is Kountermove legal?
The short answer
Yes, Fantasy Sports is considered a game of skill and received a specific exemption from the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Kountermove uses exactly the same rules as any other season long fantasy sports game, the only difference is that our games last only one event.
The long answer
According to a 2007 study, fantasy sports is played by over 32 million people in the U.S. and Canada. In fact, 22% of U.S. males between the ages of 18 and 45 with internet access have played fantasy sports. It is estimated that fantasy sports has a $3-4 billion annual economic impact across the sports industry.
Studies by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (of which Kountermove is a member) have estimated that around 73% of fantasy sports players play paid fantasy games (i.e., fantasy games of skill with an entry fee).
The laws relating to fantasy sports can vary by state, however, in the vast majority of states fantasy sports is considered a game of skill and therefore legal. In most states a game of skill is classified as a game where skill is the predominant factor in determining the winner.
In 2006, the U.S. Federal Government passed a law titled the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which was designed to prevent gambling over the internet. The act included a carve-out that clarified the legality of fantasy sports. Specifically, it exempted:
"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 team is based on the current membership of an actual team that is a member of an amateur or professional sports organisation and meets the following conditions:
1. 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 participants.
2. 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.
3. No winning outcome is based:
a. On the score, point spread, or any performance or performances of any single real world team or any combination of such teams; or
b. Solely on any single performance of an individual athlete in any single real-world sporting or other event."
Single day draft games like Kountermove are a new variant of fantasy sports having only started to appear in the last couple of years. Major networks such as NBC, CBS, Yahoo, Comcast and Fox have launched their own versions of daily draft fantasy sports games.
Kountermove takes the legal status of the games it offers very seriously and does its utmost to ensure compliance with existing State and Federal laws. If you have any further concerns about the legality of our games please get in touch.
Kountermove is a member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA).
Wikipedia entry on Fantasy Sports