Yahoo! bets big on fantasy sports

For those who don't play fantasy sports, listening to those who do talk roster moves, auction budgets and the waiver wire elicits confusion, disdain, and a dash of loathing. 

But for the 57 million of us Americans and Canadians who mock-draft, talk trash, and tweak our lineups daily, Yahoo!'s unveiling of its own daily fantasy leagues represented major news.

NYU Sports Business Professor Robert Boland sees the daily leagues' tournaments and challenges offered by Draft Kings, Fan Duel and now Yahoo! soon superseding traditional -- and in most places illegal -- sports gambling, if they haven't already, because they provide a legal form of betting.

Professional sports leagues convinced the federal government to recognize fantasy sports as "games of skill," thus allowing participants to wager money on a seemingly infinite number of possibilities while engaging with the real-life sport.

That engagement leads to more consumers more invested in any number of professional leagues, leading said leagues to embrace sports gambling, which Boland believes should one day lead this country to legalize all betting on sports.

One research firm estimated daily fantasy games should produce $14.5 billion a year in entry fees by 2020, earning companies like Yahoo! hosting said games significant profits.

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