‘Philadelphia Inquirer’ Web Site Launches ‘Fantasy’ Sports Betting that Pays Real Money

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By: E&P Staff

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Web site, Philly.com, has become the first newspaper to offer online sports betting in the United States.

In a partnership with FanDuel, a British online betting company, visitors to Philly.com Instant Fantasy Gamescan play and win in one-day online fantasy sports games that pay off in real money.

Bettors pick a team from players in scheduled Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association or National Hockey League games that day. If their team wins the fantasy contest, Philly.com says, there are “instant cash prizes — win tonight!”

Users pay a $5 entry fee for each game and can win as much as $90 a game.

Online gambling is illegal in the United States, but there is an exception for fantasy sports. The difference in the FanDuel partnership is that the fantasy team, rather than performing over the season of a sport, can be assembled for just a single day.

“Thanks to the fantasy sports carve out in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, these instant fantasy games are legal in the U.S. — something that the FanDuel team has been very careful to adhere to,” FanDuel said in its announcement of the partnership. “FanDuel and its partners generate revenue from taking a commission on each game.”

FanDuel said “Philly.com is proving to be a true pioneer by becoming the first online news publication to use the power of daily fantasy sports games to open up a new revenue frontier.”

“With the much publicized downturn in advertising revenues, could these games, at least in part, save the newspaper industry?” the press release asked.

According to FanDuel, U.K. newspapers are generating “millions of dollars in online revenue” from betting and paid games. With sports betting legal in Britain, newspapers are able to offer more lucrative betting possibilities.

FanDuel claims some players are winning more than $16,000 in a month.

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