Fantasy sports not so fantastic

The gigantic yet still-growing industry of daily fantasy sports has seemingly begun to implode upon itself as if it was an old galactic star past its prime. This has left many pessimists of the industry believing it has become too big for its own good and now they want it gone for good.

Fantasy sports have been around for years and dates back to the 1950s when people first played fantasy golf.

It has evolved over the latter half of the last century up to the point where today there is an advertisement for DraftKings or FanDuel on nearly every other commercial break geared to drawing more fans to add to the current 55 million consumers in the U.S. and Canada.

The industry sponsors all the major sport leagues, and has received investments totaling more than $1 billion from corporations such Google Capital, KKR, Comcast, Time Warner, and 21st Century Fox. It has also received large support from big-wig investor Mark Cuban.

With the first ban in Nevada four months ago, the most recent ban in Texas last month, and controversy brewing in other states, including New York and California, the industry would appear to be falling even quicker than its fast rise.

The main issue sparking this debate is whether daily fantasy sports are a game or a gamble? Is it based on skill or luck? As someone who has played daily fantasy regularly for the past year, fantasy sports are surely a game of skill.

Personally, there is nothing I hate more than being against the odds. Specifically, going into a casino and flushing my money away, pull after pull, on the lever of a slot machine.

This is something that is completely based on chance and no one can statistically find a way to profit over the course of time at a casino.

This will never happen because the casinos are meant to profit and the odds are in their favor.

As for daily fantasy, there are ways to successfully come out on top the majority of the time as many people have found. A game of chance or luck usually does not allow individuals to manipulate the outcome of the game.

In terms of daily fantasy, there are many contributing factors when deciding how to choose players and it is apparent that more skill means more winning.

Some people are able to play daily fantasy sports as a living and enter hundreds of contests a day while making a profit.

To claim that it is illegal gambling because there are factors out of someone’s control is redundant. In any game, or anything in life, there are many things over which people have no control and to use that as a main reason to end a game that millions enjoy playing on a daily basis is wrong.

When I started playing for the first time, it was obvious I was an amateur. There wasn’t nearly as much research going into my roster construction and more often than not I would make rookie mistakes.

Things have changed and I have learned a lot about each individual sport and the techniques for playing them. Entering the right contests to manage the “bankroll” that players have is key in profiting over a long period of time.

One of the misleading numbers used to show it is gambling and made for people to lose is the report that 91 percent of the total winnings were won by just 1.3 percent of the people who played. This is a main factor of Guaranteed Prize Pool games that are geared to pay huge amounts to the people who finish in first.

These tournaments skew the numbers from the large majority who play “cash” games such as Head-to-Heads, 50/50s and double ups where you have to finish in the top 45-50 percent rather than the top 10 to 20 percent in GPP’s.

I like to make the analogy of comparing daily fantasy to day trading on the stock market. Each day players have a value and you expect them to either exceed the expectations or fall below and they will give you a return on your investment.

Cuban shares my perspective and said in an interview with USA Today the legal stock market is even more of a gamble than investing in players in daily fantasy sports.

“It’s the ultimate in hypocrisy. Gambling in the stock market is Gambling 101 right now because you have absolutely no clue why things are happening or what’s going to happen or whether or not it’s even safe.” Cuban said.

I agree daily fantasy sports should be regulated to keep it fair and safe, but in no shape, way, or form be banned completely.

The majority of the politicians pushing for a ban appear to be attempting to make a name for themselves, and clearly haven’t played in the industry and do not understand the game or what it takes to be successful at it.

It should be up to the consumer whether they decide to play daily fantasy, and not a political official because they want votes.

The daily fantasy industry is standing its ground on the issue and refusing to go down without a fight. The battle may go on for a while, but many players like myself believe it is a battle worth fighting for.