Mark Cuban threw some serious shade at politicians who want to ban fantasy sports in a USA Today opinion piece published this week. The Dallas Mavericks owner and host of Shark Tank argued that the popular game of skill wasn't going anywhere despite reports predicting the industry's demise.
Cuban notes in his column that he's investing in two fantasy sports operations as proof of his belief that the industry will continue to thrive and grow. He says the movement of fantasy sports legislation in states like California, Indiana, Virginia, and Florida will clarify gaming laws that will further establish the legitimacy of the daily fantasy sports industry.
"There may be naysayers and more people who try to restrict access to fantasy games. Here's what I have to say that: Good luck. Good luck standing in the way of the entire sports-loving population that enjoys the camaraderie that comes with playing fantasy sports. Good luck telling these folks that they are criminals for doing something that is its own American national pastime. And good luck telling us that we are incapable of deciding for ourselves what hobbies we can participate in."
Cuban's sentiments reflect the inherent hypocrisy embedded in America's sports gambling laws.
"Since the early days there's been two different competing feelings in America. One is that people like to gamble so let them do it," says David Schwartz, director of the gaming research center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "The other one is well, everybody except for me can't really handle gambling."
These competing feelings have often resulted in confusing and complicated rules when it comes to gaming policy. Just take a look at New York, where Attorney General Eric Scneiderman is investigating DraftKings and FanDuel for being a "massive, illegal gambling operation" much akin to a lottery. But in New York the lottery is legal—as are other forms of state-sponsored gambling including horse racing and Indian casinos.
This isn't the first time Cuban has voiced support for fantasy sports. In January, he was the keynote speaker at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Winter Meeting in Dallas, TX. You can watch part of his speech and learn about the fantasy sports debate in the Reason TV video below: