The idea of fantasy sports has been there since the 1950s. Fantasy sports are basically groups where people create imaginary teams made up of professional athletes in actual sports leagues. Gambling Insider talks about the many fantasy sports game options that you have today, and how they rank on luck and skills.
Depending on how those athletes perform in real life affects their performance statistics, which are converted into imaginary points. These points are calculated and distributed by each team’s manager.
Today, fantasy sports are mostly played online and are called Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS. Earlier, one game would last an entire season of the sport being played. Today’s DFS are played either on websites or apps, such as those by DraftKings and FanDuel, on a daily or weekly basis.
Once the contest ends, if you won then you are rewarded with a payout depending on how much you had bet and the type of contest in which you took part in. Of course, if you lose, then you lose the money that you bet and earn no reward.
On one hand, it seems as though DFS would require a lot of mental work since there is much to keep up with and calculate before placing a bet. However, on the other hand, some say that it can be considered as gambling, since performance statistics are affected in real life.
DraftKings and FanDuel claim that DFS are skill-based games. They say that each contestant has to pick the players that make up his/her team’s roster. Picking players involves decision-making, calculation, and a lot of research. A contestant would have to keep track of not only their team’s players’ stats, but those of other teams’ as well. These are all skills which a DFS player uses, along with constant monitoring of the athletes.
The New York and Washington laws indicate that DFS involve little skill and mostly luck. Different states use different tests to figure out if games are legal. There are 4 main gambling tests. The most common one is the “predominant purpose test”. If skill is dominant over chance, then the game should be seen as legal, but if it’s the opposite, then the game should be seen as illegal. The other tests are: the “any chance test”, the material element test”, and the “gambling instinct test.” According to the last one, if an activity makes someone more prone to gamble, then it should be illegal, regardless of chance or skill.
According to Ed Miller, who plays DFS regularly, many games of skill also involve some level of chance, for example chess, mahjong, and poker. Flipping a coin or using dice in skill-based games is common and adds an element of chance. While most games have a randomizing factor, it’s not all about luck though.
In real-life sports, athletes’ performances vary from one game to the next, which can be caused by a number of reasons, including injuries, which can cause the athlete to be removed from playing. This would mean that all those who have bet on him/her would lose out completely.