For a long time, mass entertainment was various forms of media that the public consumed passively. But the rise of the internet did not just disintermediate the entertainment industries we knew—changing the ways movies, music, and news were packaged and delivered—it also allowed the creation of new sources of entertainment, or vastly differ- ent versions of old ones. So, while “Web 2.0” made websites interactive and rollicking, like a really vibrant newspaper, the next wave of innovation was already underway, in the hands of the next generation. They were playing games.

The history of online gaming goes back to the 1970s, but it really took off as the propagation and speed of the in- ternet allowed for playing games in real time among large numbers of people. Massive multiplayer online role-playing games, like World of Warcraft, are not the only forms of gaming that people enjoy, of course. There are endless com- binations of games, game formats, and styles of play that the market for entertainment continues to discover.

One sub-market of the online entertainment marketplace builds on Americans’ love of sports. This includes a range of games in which people challenge each other’s knowledge of sports teams and players, to traditional gambling on games and athletes’ performances. They are heightened by the im- mediateness and interactivity of the online environment, so some consider them to be better entertainment.

In the world of sports gaming and gambling, there is a entertainment marketplace. If they are found to have used these arguments to discourage businesses from having relationships with DFS providers, that is not just ironic. It violates the antitrust laws.

As opposed to the simplistic arguments put forth to government as the two seek to leverage the government do what it apparently is afraid it cannot, that is win in the marketplace, a broad array of issues converge in this market segment and all speak to how it should be regulated.

This report was originally published by the James Madison Institute and can be read in full here.

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