Daily Fantasy Sports, is it Gambling or Addictive?
You've probably seen their advertisements.
"You can win a ship load of money!"
"One day fantasy sports to life changing amounts of cash!"
Well, who wouldn't want that? So what is Daily Fantasy Sports?
It's the same fantasy sports leagues 44 million American's participate in annually. But instead of competing for the length of an entire season, sites like FanDuel or Draft Kings offer the ability to can and win money daily. Players compete against fellow players for the highest score.
"I like to call it a mind sport, I'm not good enough to play sports for a living but it's really cool to me that using data and other resources that I can predict a fantasy score," said Stephen Diamantas.
A players ability to use skill is why the federal government excluded Fantasy Sports from their Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The law states Fantasy Sports has an outcome that reflects the relative knowledge of the participants, or their skill."
Daily Fantasy Sports players work feverishly like a Stock Broker, with sporting event serving like their ticker.
"When you have actual financial incentive in something it definitely is a little more exciting, Diamantas"
Players analyze statistics, and crunch numbers to figure out which player gives them the best chance for the highest potential score and the best chance to cash in.
"The fact that there is a skill component to this allows them to justify it is not gambling that could be debatable," said USF Associate Director of Sport and Entertainment Management Dr. Michael Mondello.
Experts believe this booming billion dollar business model of Daily Fantasy Sports will only grow in 2015.
"You look at the revenue from year to year in 2013, just under $15 million and the reports are last year it was over $50 million it's almost quadrupled in a one year stretch," said Dr. Mondello.
Sites like FanDuel and Draftkings reportedly pay out nearly 90 percent of what they rake in. Professional sports team have joined the players in trying to get their hands on as much of the pie as possible. Team realize the more eyes on their games, the more money in their pockets.
"TV right deals right now are so enormous, locking them in for multiple years, as long as fan experience at stadiums and arenas provide for fans electronically, I don't see it slowing down at all," said Dr. Mondello
The ads show you, the thrill of victory but what they don't display is the depression of defeat.
Lynn Nelson of the The Holistic Mental Health Clinic, explains why Daily Fantasy Sports can be addicting;
"What we are learning, these things trigger adrenaline and dopamine in the brain that makes us feel extra good, first it was fun, then it was exciting but I want that lever pushed again," said Nelson.
That rush of adrenaline is just a click away, from the comfort of your own couch. Easy access, comfort, sports and of course money makes Daily Fantasy Sports a dream for the attention deficit disorder age.
"It's just non-stop excitement for both the casual sports fan and the super sports fan," said Diamantas. "It's an experience like you're not going to get anywhere else."