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The Calcutta - legalities and a solution

Posted By: Rod
Date: Friday, 11 October 2013, at 7:44 a.m.

A FB thread was just brought to my attention. It's mostly absurd. However, it raises the issue of the Calcutta auction.

My understanding, from reading various legal opinions, papers and court decisions, is that backgammon tournaments in NY State are quite legal. I would guess that with the progress of sports betting in the US that backgammon would be determined to be legal in most, if not all, states today, even if there was a court case.

I also understand that Calcutta auctions are either not legal or would require a non profit (not a backgammon tournament director) to get a permit. This is the case in most states.

There is a solution, I believe.

Fantasy sports leagues (betting) is legal. Completely and totally legal. See http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2012/09/19/should-gambling-on-fantasy-football-be-legal/

The Calcutta would need to be altered to mimic a fantasy sports league. Prizes can't be determined by amount put into the pot nor by number of fantasy league players. Obviously directors and fantasy backgammon participants would want the amounts to correlate to some degree. This can be achieved with indirect mechanisms that do not directly correlate to number of players in the field, participants or amounts, while still being close.

Is anyone interested in devising a workable fantasy backgammon "league" with me for use on a tournament by tournament basis?

Any thoughts on what to do or not to do from a director, participant and player standpoint?

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