Fantasy Sports Betting: What Is It About?

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Nowadays, millions of people in the United States are taking part in this comparatively new form of betting. Want to know more about it?

Fantasy sports in their current form didn’t exist until 2007 when major fantasy sports betting platforms appeared. They were a perfect alternative to traditional betting, but they remained unknown to the vast majority of players. But they have gained popularity over the course of the last decades, due to good marketing strategies and various different promos.

Despite all the controversy, US fantasy sports leagues are currently completely legal. They are considered to be a game of skill which can be played both for money and for free. DFS has the backing of major sports leagues. It is easier to capitalize on DFS and keep their reputation clean, without being associated with traditional sports betting.

Types of Leagues

Guy playing RegbyThe most common type of leagues is salary cap leagues, where you need to draft your team of players from a fully-priced player pool. The total salary you can pay all the players you draft must not exceed your salary cap, the equal amount of play money available for all participants. Picking players in DFS is based on their performance: you need to assemble the best performing fantasy teams without going over your salary cap: for football, this is usually $50.000.

What Is Daily Fantasy Sports?

DFS is one of the most popular and fast-growing segments of fantasy sports. The competitions are shorter than ones in the traditional league format. Usually, these competitions have an open format that allows any participant to choose any player they want, no matter how many times he was chosen before by the other participants.

You need to select your perfect team within your play money budget and compile points based on the statistics of the players over the course of a season. It’s like a season-long contest shortened to a single day or a week. You could be playing against many people online. Unlike the season-long league, DFS involves more money that can be won by a single participant.

Benefits of DFS

What Sports Can You Bet On?

You can bet on a variety of the most widespread, major sports, but be sure to bet on the ones you know the best. So if you’re a big fan of any of these sports, you know the best players and how they perform — the way to bet is wide open for you!

  • Football (NFL)
  • Baseball (MLB)
  • Ice Hockey (NHL)
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • MMA
  • eSports
  • College Basketball
  • College Football

Differences Between Sports Betting and Fantasy Sports Betting

The main legal difference between DFS and sports betting lies in their definition: the former is considered a game of skill and the latter a game of chance. According to the federal law of the United States and its Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which exempts fantasy sports from the definition of gambling or betting, your chances of winning in DFS depend on your skill and knowledge; and not on pure luck, like in sports betting.

Is Fantasy Sports Gambling?


Finally, there’s one more question here: is fantasy sports really gambling? There are loopholes in the current legislation regarding gambling, so legally speaking, it’s not gambling. It has the traits both of gambling and a game of skill, so you can read the arguments both for and against it, and then decide yourself.

Arguments Against

The first point is that you need more skill and knowledge than luck to become a winner. As it is stated in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, simulated games have “an outcome determined mostly by statistical results of sporting events.”

To play DFS, you need to develop a strategy, create your team, manage it, and predict the outcomes of each performance. In sports betting, on the contrary, you have no influence on the outcomes of the game; so you can only win due to your luck, that’s why it was outlawed on a federal level!

Guy playing Regby

The second point is that you can play DFS for free. Many platforms don’t even include the money option, while it’s impossible to imagine betting without money. No betting office would ever accept bets for fun.

The third point, there are fixed odds at the sports betting, while at the DFS, the odds depend on your skills, so there’s a direct correlation between expertise and winning results. The payouts are structured in many different ways.

The last point, the anti-gambling leagues align with fantasy sports games and support them. The major leagues are explicitly anti-gambling but encourage Fantasy Leagues. So, as we can see, fantasy games are tolerated and well established inside the mostly anti-betting industry.

Arguments For

The first point here is that any American League has a clear commercial advantage from the DFS, and it’s easy to capitalize on that. It’s considered unethical to be associated with real betting platforms, while on the other hand, partnerships with DFS don’t suffer that inappropriate bias.

The second point is this: bets on poker and casino can be strategic too; but they’re still considered to be gambling, in spite of being games of skill. The problem is that fantasy sports are always defined in relation to sports betting.

More Interesting Things About Fantasy Sports Betting

  • Do you bet money on fantasy football?

According to a report by the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association, a large fraction of the players don’t wager money on fantasy games. Even so, it’s a billion-dollar business, as more than 70 million Americans are betting real money on them.

  • Is fantasy sports gambling legal?

Fantasy sports gambling, though not considered gambling, is legal in some US states. DFS is a game of skill, according to federal law.

  • What is the most popular fantasy sport?

Football is the most popular fantasy sport by far. It is followed by Major League Baseball, auto racing, and NBA.

  • What states allow DFS?

Most states allow them, with the exception of Arizona, Idaho, Hawaii, Nevada, Montana, and Washington. You can definitely bet on DFS in New Jersey, West Virginia, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.

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