When logging into my ESPN Fantasy Football League page today, I was greeted by the familiar sights that I have become accustomed to over many years of using the World Wide Leader’s platform. But something else jumped out at me today, something I haven’t seen before. Specifically ESPN offered the “Tilt” service to help me collect league dues. Dues that, may or may not exist in my fantasy league, and may or may not exist in anyone’s league(s).
So what exactly is ESPN telling me? Do they think our league collects dues? Do they think those dues are used to create a prize pool that is doled out to the participants in agreed upon ways? Does ESPN think I’m gambling?
Obviously ESPN would deny all of the above if asked I’m sure. Instead we’d get the canned answer about how ESPN is just helping facilitate the interests of our league in a convenient way (one I’m sure ESPN gets a cut of mind you), be it money for t-shirts or draft day food, but not specifically for gambling and prizes of course.
Regardless, ESPN is now pushing the line, essentially admitting that many leagues consist of wagering on the fantasy season. They know this, and they want their cut of the pie. But, hey, fantasy football’s not gambling. Not according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at least. Instead fantasy is just bringing together families and providing a forum for fans to engage in the game.” And we’re sure that none of those families and fans are wagering money on fantasy outcomes, right ESPN?