While Draft Kings, Fan Duel and various and sundry government types sort out where – or if – fantasy sports are legal, another gambling idea has been hatched in Nevada.
Essentially, the law permits Nevada-based entities to create mutual funds, recruit investors from anywhere, and place legal wagers in Nevada. The idea is to increase the betting “handle,” currently about $3.9 billion a year.
Obviously, this opens possibilities. From Robert Horne, writing in the Las Vegas Business Press: “One scenario envisions something like a mutual fund that specializes in tracking a specific team or sport. Another scenario envisions a massive expansion of handicapping services that could transition from selling advice to placing bets for investors.”
Imagine that a fund specialized in the Dallas Cowboys, perhaps betting on or against them, depending on fund manager’s opinion. Or maybe a fund based on a betting angle, like wagering against NFL teams traveling three time zones.
According to the people behind the idea, the Securities and Exchange Commission has declared it has no jurisdiction.
Interestingly, the Nevada Gaming Control Board also wanted no part of this, because it didn’t want to deal with the gambling pool operators. Vetting the “mutual funds” will be the responsibility of sports book operators. CG Technology, which operates books for several casinos and pushed the bill through the Legislature, is leading the way. Other books seem wary.
Individuals considering investing must make their own decisions about transaction fees and transparency. (“Insider trading” possibilities boggle the mind.)
The whole idea may get no traction. But consider: If some politicians and the New York state attorney general get their way and outlaw fantasy sports, this idea is lurking. And the busybodies won’t be able to do a damn thing about it.