Five fantasy sports websites have come under scrutiny from the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) for possible illegal gambling.
OCCC spokeswoman Jessica Franks identified the sites that are under investigation for offering illegal gambling. They are Lucra Sports, Prediction Strike, Fliff, TeamStake, and Dynasty Owner.
Matt Schuler, OCCC executive director, told Legal Sports Report his office is investigating many more websites for possible illegal gambling. Schuler said the companies are offering touched-up versions of player prop bets. Sports betting has been legal since January but sports fantasy companies do not have a license to be able to offer betting. Instead they can provide contests but sometimes they attempt to blur these lines.
Fantasy sports companies have long maintained they offer games of skill not chance. Still, governments have been using the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to crack down on suspected offenders.
That is what New Jersey regulators did when they issued a cease and desist letter to Prediction Strike. The accused the company of offering unlicensed sports wagers. The company is no longer operational in New Jersey.
The OCCC is using an aggressive tactic as well. Last November, the governmental entity suspended StatHero’s fantasy sports license for what it said was house contest violations.
“Depending on the entities, if they are not licensed, we have a number of tools at our disposal to take care of illegal activity,” Franks told LSR. She added her office can monitor fantasy sports companies by complaints and checking sites.