May 17th, 2010

Dreamstreet Heads to Tee with Pay Golf Game

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Starting with next month’s U.S. Open, a group of golf fans will be turning the fantasy game they started playing 14 years ago into an online offering.

Dreamstreet Golf is the brainchild of Bill Hefferan, based on a game he and a golfing buddy have been playing for more than a decade.

The concept calls for 10-team leagues that would drafted golfers in each of the four majors, with each league sending its champion on to an end-of-season competition to coincide with The Players Championship.

“I looked into fantasy golf and I said, ‘what a big industry,’” Hefferan told the Times Herald-Record. “There’s nothing out there like this, where we are tying in local winners into a national competition.”

Of course, whereas the fantasy market has grown quite a bit in the past decade, it’s unclear how big the demand would be for a pay golf game, particularly one that costs $39.95. (We have yet to see prizes specified.) The Times Herald-Record story quotes Yahoo!’s David Geller as saying that his site gets more than 100,000 fantasy golf players a year, but that’s for a free game.

On the other hand, the generally affluent fantasy audience and general affluence of the crowd that is serious about its golf could create a desirable demographic and a small-but-devoted player base.

Dreamstreet Golf has reserved its spot online and hopes to have the site up in time for the U.S. Open. It’s unclear how they’ll treat this season with one major (The Masters) already out of the way, but we’ll be curious to see what kind of traction this fantasy golf concept might be able to find.


ESPN Provides Details on Eligibility

Monday, May 17th, 2010

In the wake of the prize T-shirt that led to a failed House bill in Louisiana, checked in with ESPN on its treatment of players from states with laws against fantasy payouts.

First of all, David Winkler won his uncollected T-shirt in a pay game, which is why ESPN said it couldn’t deliver the prize. Under Louisiana law, gambling occurs when a participant “risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit” — or, you know, an extra day in the laundry cycle.

In addition to Louisiana, residents of Washington (state), Arizona, Maryland, Tennessee, Iowa, Vermont, Montana and North Dakota are ineligible to receive prizes from participating in pay games at On top of being able to find these restrictions in the game rules — which most folks probably don’t read unless they’re suffering insomnia — ESPN users are presented the screen at the bottom of this story before purchasing their team, according to Kristie Chong of ESPN Communications.

One would have to be fairly unconcerned about where his $30 is going to skip the light reading on that page.

These restrictions, however, do not apply to games with no entry fee.

“If there is no cost to participate, then anyone can win — as long as they meet our other eligibility rules,” Chong told Presumably, the same should be true for any free-to-play game, though fantasy-game operators should seek legal advice before publicizing their eligibility rules.

This doesn’t, of course, speak to the strangeness of nearly a fifth of the states in our union keeping residents from collecting fantasy prizes. At the least, however, the Winkler case can serve as a warning to any resident of the nine states mentioned above to carefully check eligibility rules before putting your money down.