Philadelphia Inquirer Gambles on Gambling with FanDuel

Newspapers are being forced to explore all sorts of non-print initiatives to keep themselves afloat in this economy, but bookmaking?

The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Philly.com teamed up with British online betting company FanDuel to launch Philly.com Instant Fantasy Games, which pay winners off in real money, Editor & Publisher reported.

According to E&P, users pay a $5 entry fee for each game with the chance to win up to $90, and the games cover Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League.

Unlike traditional fantasy sports, players in Philly.com Instant Fantasy Games can create teams for just one day.

FanDuel told E&P some players are winning as much as $16,000 per month, and the company said in a statement:

Thanks to the fantasy-sports carve-out in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, these instant fantasy games are legal in the United States — something that the FanDuel team has been very careful to adhere to. FanDuel and its partners generate revenue from taking a commission on each game.

Philly.com is proving to be a true pioneer by becoming the first online news publication to use the power of daily fantasy sports games to open up a new revenue frontier. With the much-publicized downturn in advertising revenues, could these games, at least in part, save the newspaper industry?