The difference between fantasy sports gaming and sports betting

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What’s the difference between apps you could already use and what you will be able to do on Monday? Our Verify team looked into it.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thanks to a new law, starting Monday at noon, sportsbooks will begin taking bets in North Carolina. This means you’ll be able to wager money on sporting events, legally, on your phone. 

But some say they’ve already been able to place bets using their phone in North Carolina. 

WCNC Charlotte’s VERIFY team got this email from Tom P., saying, “I keep hearing how online sports betting is coming to NC, but I’ve been betting on sites like PrizePicks and Sleeper for a while. What’s the difference?”

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So, what’s the difference between apps you can already use and what you will be able to do starting Monday? 


On their website, both PrizePicks and Sleepers say they are daily fantasy sports apps. 

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According to the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association, fantasy sports betting is a game of skill, not a game of luck. So, it should not be classified as gambling. 

The PrizePicks site claims the game is legal to play in North Carolina. In their policy, the site says it complies with gaming regulations in each state where it operates. 

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 clarifies the legality of fantasy sports. The act makes transactions from banks or similar institutes’ online gambling sites illegal except for fantasy sports, online lotteries, and horse and harness racing. 

That’s why games under the fantasy umbrella — even those that include betting — were allowed to operate in North Carolina before now. 

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VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit VERIFY.

WCNC Charlotte’s Verify series is all about trying to make a difference in the Carolinas by making sure the community has the correct information. WCNC Charlotte outlines concisely what we know and what we don’t know. Sometimes the answer can be surprising. Watch previous stories where we verify social media claims in the YouTube playlist below and subscribe to get updated when new videos are uploaded.

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