I believe I read before that the US only constituted a situation as 'gambling' if there was luck based, which is to say that if there was a sufficient degree of skill involved then something was not considered gambling. In fact I believe that is why certain fantasy-baseball style gambling games were allowed.

There are numerous online games that are rather complex and skill based, which makes me wonder if they would be legal for participants in these games to gamble on the outcomes. Could an existing online game such as a quake style death match legally support gambling on your success in a match within the US? So for instance every one of 8 people puts up 5 dollars at the beginning of the match, with the last person standing at the end getting all the gambled money (minus whatever overhead the company that makes the game takes)?

I imagine there must be a reason this is illegal, or everyone would be doing it already. but if so why would the debate over far less skill-based games like the fantasy-football example be allowed?

Is there any state where this would be legal?

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    Laws on exactly what constitutes illegal gambling in the US are largely state-level, so a full answer requires a state to be specified. Also, such laws are often not entirely logical, and permit one kind of gambling while prohibiting another that seems very similar. – David Siegel Jul 2 '19 at 18:35
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    That doesn't sound so much like gambling as a tournament, of which there are plenty. If people on the sidelines are betting on who wins, that's gambling. – jeffronicus Jul 2 '19 at 21:58

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