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If you can wager on them, are fantasy sports gambling?

Regulators in Nevada have become the first to rule that betting on daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings are gambling. They have ordered the companies to cease operating in the state until they obtain gambling licenses. In our NewsHour shares of the day, a look at one student at Depauw University says he makes six-figures by betting on daily fantasy sports.

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    We have all seen the ads for DraftKings and FanDuel. Playing fantasy sports is now a multibillion-dollar industry.

    Today, regulators in Nevada are the first to rule that playing daily fantasy sports is considered gambling, and ordered the companies to cease operating in the state until they obtain gambling licenses.

    "Frontline" and The New York Times recently produced a story about playing daily fantasy sports.

    Bryce Mauro, a student at DePauw University, says he makes a six-figure salary by betting on daily fantasy sports, putting his study of economics to daily use.

  • BRYCE MAURO, DePauw University:

    I wagered about $12,000 this morning.

  • WALT BOGDANICH, The New York Times:

    That's a lot of money.

  • BRYCE MAURO:

    Yes, it is.

  • WALT BOGDANICH:

    You confident?

  • BRYCE MAURO:

    I'm very confident. I wouldn't be wagering money on this scale if I wasn't very confident in my abilities. I mean, I lost about $18,000 last night, so it offsets it. It fluctuates.

  • WALT BOGDANICH:

    How much have you won?

  • BRYCE MAURO:

    My bankroll, I mean, it's in the hundreds of thousands. I have made hundreds of thousands of dollars doing this over the past almost two years now.

  • MATT KING, CFO, FanDuel:

    The core of our game is not about the money. When you ask people why they play, they play because it makes the games more exciting.

  • WALT BOGDANICH:

    What's the biggest prize a player could win?

  • MATT KING:

    We have contests where people can win up to several million dollars.

  • WALT BOGDANICH:

    Several million? So you don't view what you do here at FanDuel as gambling?

  • MATT KING:

    No.

  • WALT BOGDANICH:

    That's a word that isn't used very much around here, I take it.

  • MATT KING:

    No, because we are — every time that you talk to our users, what comes through loud and clear is the fact that we're an entertainment product.

  • WALT BOGDANICH:

    So, you see no reason then for fantasy sports to be regulated by some government agency?

  • MATT KING:

    Our product is all about entertainment value.

  • WALT BOGDANICH:

    Is what you do gambling?

  • BRYCE MAURO:

    No, it's not gambling at all. I mean, it's — I consider it more of investing. You know, I have a portfolio. I'm trying to diversify the portfolio by picking players every day. I'm trying to maximize returns. I'm trying to optimize my lineup each day.

    I mean, it's like you're given $1,000 to bet on the stock market in a day. It's no different than that.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    You can see more of the film at NewYorkTimes.com and on the "Frontline" page at PBS.org.

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