The topic of daily fantasy sports made an unexpected appearance at Wednesday’s GOP primary debate on CNBC.
Moderator Carl Quintanilla sparked the exchange by asking former Florida governor Jeb Bush if daily fantasy sports is “the definition of gambling.”
Bush responded by characterizing DFS as “day trading without any regulation at all,” while New Jersey governor Chris Christie pushed back against the implied criticism by asserting that the government should “let people play.”
Full transcript of the DFS back-and-forth
Quintanilla: Daily fantasy sports has become a phenomenon in this country, will award billions in prize money this year but to play you have to asses your odds, put money at risk, wait for an outcome that’s out of your control. Isn’t that the definition of gambling and should the federal government treat it as such.
Bush: Well first of all, I’m 7-0 in my fantasy football league
Quintanilla: I had a feeling you were going to brag about that
Bush: Gronkowski is still going strong. I have Ryan Tannehill, Marco, as my quarterback he was 18 for 19 last week, so I’m doing great – but we’re not gambling.
And I think this has become something that needs to be looked at in terms of regulation, effectively it’s day trading without any regulation at all. And when you have insider information which apparently has been the case where people use that information, use big data to try to take advantage of it, there has to be some regulation.
If they can’t regulate themselves, then the NFL needs to look at moving away from them a little bit and there should be some regulation.
I have no clue whether the federal government is the proper place, my instinct is to say hell no just about everything about the federal government.
Christie: Are we really talking about getting federal government involved in fantasy football? Wait a second – we have 19 trillion dollars in debt, we have people out of work, we have ISIS and Al Qaeda attacking us and we’re talking about fantasy football? Can this just stop? Seriously?
How about this: how about we get the government to do what they’re supposed to be doing? Secure our borders, protect our people, and support American values and American families. Enough about fantasy football – let people play, who cares.