- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2015

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. is calling for a congressional hearing into the legality of fantasy football league websites.

Mr. Pallone, a top New Jersey Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to his Republican counterparts on Monday, asking the committee to “hold a hearing examining the relationship between professional sports and fantasy sports to review the legal status of fantasy sports and sports betting.”

“Anyone who watched a game this weekend was inundated by commercials for fantasy sports websites, and it’s only the first week of the NFL season,” Mr. Pallone said in a statement, Roll Call reported.

“These sites are enormously popular, arguably central to the fans’ experience, and professional leagues are seeing the enormous profits as a result,” he said. “Despite how mainstream these sites have become, though, the legal landscape governing these activities remains murky and should be reviewed.”

Mr. Pallone said that while online sports betting and online gambling are prohibited under federal law, fantasy leagues are taking advantage of a loophole known as a “carve out.”

This loophole has blurred the lines between betting conducted through fantasy sports websites and online gambling, Roll Call reported.

“You know, put down a bet and get a high return by betting on a team, players, whatever. How is it any different from sports betting? I don’t see it; what, because you call it fantasy?” Mr. Pallone said.

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