The main thing you should know is that question is extremely outside the realm of what an attorney on Avvo is able to respond to. You have a dynamic issue of a new internet business operating in an area that has been a hotbed of recent legal, regulatory, and even criminal actions. The only competent advice an attorney on here should render is to contact a local business attorney with experience in gaming law. An opinion and review of your company, proposal, and interaction with relevant state and federal law is going to cost a tidy sum of money. However, this initial evaluation is more than worth its high cost when you consider that moving forward without legal counsel could easily result in massive civil and criminal penalties. Contact an attorney and get a comprehensive opinion.
I have clients in this arena and I can tell you that the legal landscape it is extremely complicated. You have both federal and state laws to navigate, and what you offer on your website is of upmost importance.
Before embarking on starting this type of business you should discuss you plans with an attorney who can advise you on both gambling and Internet law. Most lawyers on Avvo offer a free phone consultation which would be a good starting point for your further education on this matter.
This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.
There are a lot of legal pitfalls for what you want to do here, and it's important to understand that if you go about this inexpertly, you could risk facing potential serious charges. You really should have a gaming attorney guide you through this sort of thing.
I focus my practice on (video) gaming industry, casino gambling, and complex internet law issues, electronic free speech, entertainment law, copyright and trademark law, and computer fraud. I primarily represent game developers and founders of emergent internet technologies. The author is a Maryland attorney; however no answer given on Avvo is intended as legal advice or intended to create an attorney-client relationship.
The answer is actually pretty simple. There is no grey issue here. Your idea is illegal anywhere in the United States except for Nevada and potentially New Jersey and Delaware. Federal law prohibits sports gambling (both professional and college) exempt in states with grand-fathered laws (like Nevada). There is an exception made for fantasy sports. There are also exceptions made in about 36 states allowing for individuals to wager on their own skills (two individuals competing in a sports tournament). Other than that, the answer is no. Apply your skills to an online gaming option that promotes competition.
The above response is for general education and information and does not constitute a legal advice. Please consult with an attorney. For online, mobile and advertising law, contact http://www.web20lawyer.com