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The Emergence of Daily Fantasy Football

Football season is here. So is fantasy football season and daily/weekly fantasy football. Let’s break it down quickly for you:

Back In the Day

Not too long ago websites like Yahoo and MySpace ruled the Web. Fast forward to present day, where MySpace is virtually irrelevant (thanks to Mark Zuckerberg) and Yahoo has become an afterthought to Google. Perhaps one of the few main assets Yahoo has left is its stronghold on fantasy sports–which quite possibly can be sold soon too, considering that Verizon just bought Yahoo for only $4.84 billion, a move that is likely to shake things up.

While Yahoo was once the authority on everything related to fantasy sports, there is a new sheriff in town. (Actually, there are a few new sheriffs in town.) In addition to ESPN.com and CBSSports.com, two major players, DraftKings & FanDuel, have catapulted onto the scene but allowing fantasy participants to switch to daily games instead of season-long contents.

Think of it this way: Instead of drafting a team full of football players and sticking with them for one year; players now have over 17 weeks in which they can draft a new team and make a wager on that team’s performance (there are 17 weeks per NFL season, not including playoffs).

One projection from LegalSportsReport.com has DFS’s (Daily Fantasy Sports) forecasted market size potential to be between $8 billion and $14 billion by the year 2020. Keep in mind that the market size is directly related to total entry fees paid by players. That’s a lot of money.

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Why are Daily Fantasy Sports so popular?

    • They are easy to join. A majority of Americans over the age of 21 have a smartphone and a bank account. The DFS apps are free to download and easy to connect to a financial institution. Additionally, these sites/apps offer free games to encourage new players to get their foot in their door by gaming at no cost. For a non-problem gambler this can be harmless, but for somebody with addictive gambling habits, the free games can quickly spiral into big money wagering.

 

  • They don’t last long. People have a short attention span – just ask Snapchat or Vine. Since you only need one day to play DFS, players of any skill level think that they can win. Similar to casino games, when players win they brag about it. When daily fantasy players lose, it is easy to brush under the rug and forget about it (and try to regain their losses the following day).

  • They are legal. Just because something is legal, does not mean it is harmless (i.e. cigarettes). People do not feel as if they are partaking in hazardous behavior since the government deems it allowable to participate in as long as you are of the legal age. If minors justify participating in DFS because of its legality for adults, it can plant a seed that leads to other forms of gambling issues in the future.

The states where Daily Fantasy Sports companies blocks players due to legal issues are:

DraftKings:  Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, *New York, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada and Washington State

FanDuel:  Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, *New York, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Texas and Washington State.

Yahoo:  Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, *New York, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada and Washington State.

*New York is on the prohibited list, but the state recently signed a bill that will allow sites DFS. These sites can now apply for temporary permits to operate while the full NY licensing process gets under way.

As you can see, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and most of the other states located near the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ are not prohibited by the big three DFS sites.

Whether you know somebody who has a fantasy sports addiction or experiences problems with casino gambling in Atlantic City, our organization is here to help. We offer a 24/7 confidential helpline (1-800-GAMBLER) and many other resources online and over the phone for people who need help with problem gambling.