With sports betting now legal in many states, it’s now becoming even more common to bet on sports games.
FanDuel and DraftKings, two of the biggest online sportsbooks in the United States, make it very easy for users to place bets through their websites and mobile apps.
What is a Sportsbook?
A sportsbook is a bookmaker, but for sports betting. It is a company or individual who collects bets from sports bettors.
Oddsmakers are members of a sportsbook who creates the odds for all the different games that bettors can wager on. Oddsmakers “set the line” before a game, and make adjustments based on things like home advantage, injuries, and who the opposing team is.
Once the odds are finalized, they are released to the public in the form of an “opening line,” and bettors can choose which team they want to bet on. Sportsbooks make their money on sports bets primarily by collecting a commission on bettors' losing bets.
FanDuel and DraftKings are two of the biggest daily fantasy sports and online sportsbooks in the United States, both with an annual revenue of approximately $1 Billion. They both allow users to participate in fantasy-sports related competitions, and once more states began legalizing sports betting, they launched their online sportsbooks.
Is Fantasy Sports a Form of Gambling?
There is some debate about whether or not fantasy sports and sports betting is a form of gambling, and the answer depends on who you ask. Many sports fans insist that engaging in fantasy sports and sports betting simply heightens the entertainment of the game.
DraftKings and FanDuel, along with the American government, claim that sports betting does not classify as gambling since it is a game of skill, rather than chance.
Although sports betting does in theory require more skill than playing the slots, the bettor is still risking money on something with an unknown outcome. The house still has a built in edge, and they benefit off of the bettor’s losses. This constitutes as gambling.
These companies also know how to get users hooked on placing bets. The sites often have a new customer offer, such as, “Bet $1, win $100,” and other intriguing offers. They often encourage bettors to bet on the underdog team by offering a higher payout if that team wins.
It sounds too good to be true: how could anyone refuse this offer when there is seemingly nothing to lose? However, these types of offers can lead to years of sports betting and gambling addiction.
When Fantasy Sports Becomes a Problem
While playing fantasy sports without any money involved isn’t directly gambling, it can lead players to believe that they could be successful at wagering money in sports betting.
One study of 1,556 college students found “an association between fantasy sports participation and gambling problems.” The risk of developing a sports betting addiction is higher for young adult males, and sports bettors are more than twice as likely to develop an addiction compared to other types of gamblers.
Sports fans who are brand new to betting can be overconfident when they start betting. That’s because they think they’re qualified to predict outcomes and select winners. They also tend to bet on their favorite teams, even if it is unlikely that their team will win.
If a sports bettor is placing bets on sports games that they know nothing about, but are betting simply for the thrill of it, this could be an indicator of a problem. This implies that the bettor is no longer betting purely for entertainment, but more so out of compulsion.
How FanDuel and DraftKings Have Impacted Sports
The rise of online fantasy sports has altered the way that sports fans watch sports games. Not only do users care about their favorite teams, but any teams and players who will help them perform better in their fantasy sports.
FanDuel and DraftKings, once only fantasy sport startups, quickly became key players in the revolution of mobile fantasy sports and sports betting. Many DraftKings and FanDuel customers have started watching sports that they were not following before becoming actively engaged in fantasy sports.
As a result, the overall viewing of sports across all media has increased, creating more value for sports leagues. In response to this, sports leagues have started partnering with FanDuel and DraftKings.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings are Official Sports Betting Partners of the NBA and the NFL, with DraftKings being affiliated with 5 NFL teams. As a partner of the NFL, they can integrate sports betting content directly into NFL Media properties including NFL.com and the NFL App.
DraftKings is now also an Official Sports Betting, Daily Fantasy Sports, and iGaming Partner of the NHL.
According to NHL.com, this means that DraftKings will be granted access to NHL assets, including the use of official marks and logos, as well as themed sweepstakes and enhanced promotional efforts. DraftKings will also have the opportunity for a variety of content integrations across the league's media platforms.
How FanDuel and DraftKings Respond to Problem Gambling
While both companies believe that fantasy sports and sports betting are not forms of gambling, they do provide users with access to safe and responsible gambling resources.
FanDuel offers tools to help players remain in control of their bets, including deposit limits, and contest entry limits.
They also recently named sports radio host and problem gambling advocate, Craig Carton as their first national responsible gaming ambassador. Craig will engage in speaking events, and provide consultation regarding responsible gaming.
DraftKings is a member of the National Council on Problem Gaming, and sponsors the annual NCPG conference. They are also a member of the American Gaming Association, who works to educate consumers on how to bet responsibly while raising awareness for problem gambling. DraftKings allow players to set deposit limits, wagering limits, and time limits on their betting.
8 Tips for Betting Responsibly
- Educate yourself about the risks involved in betting
- Set a spending limit, and stick to it
- Don’t bet on sports you aren’t familiar with
- Don’t bet while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Never chase your losses
- Develop other hobbies
- Find healthy coping mechanisms
- Block gambling sites using GamBan or BetBlocker
Betting is meant to be for entertainment purposes only, and not used as a way to make income. If you are struggling to make ends meet, gambling is not the answer to your financial woes.
Algamus has helped men and women from all walks of life overcome gambling addiction by providing clients with individualized treatment at our residential treatment center in Arizona.
If you or a loved one is seeking help for a gambling addiction, speak to one of our certified gambling counselors, who will gladly assist you.