Do you play fantasy sports? Well if you do you are among the over 59 million other USA and Canadians who do.
Believe it or not, fantasy sports is not considered gambling; it’s considered a game of skill. By definition, gambling means to play games of chance for money or take risky action in the hopes of a desired result. Wagering on the stats and performance of individual players and not the overall outcome of the game is considered a game of skill and that’s why the major sporting leagues have not frowned upon their existent.
According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (who knew there was such a thing) Here’s the breakdown of demographics of current fantasy participants:
- 66% Male // 34% Female
- Average Age: 38.6
- College Degree or More: 66%
- Have a household income of $75k+: 51%
- Have full-time employment: 67%
- Average Annual Spending Per Fantasy Player (age 18+): $556
- Favorite Fantasy Sport: Football
- Fantasy Sports Players that Pay League Fee: 70%
$500 a year on fantasy sports? That’s not a budget category I’ve seen before.
My Fantasy Sports History
In the early days of fantasy sport (the late 1990s) before they could be found widespread online, I ran my own fantasy football league. We held a live draft with food and drink.
I purchased software that I ran on my desktop, manually had to enter teams, and I’d send out a weekly newsletter to the league. I had to fax it to a few league members too.
It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. At some point, money became involved, and that’s when it became more of a chore to run the league. We started charging an entry fee to play, and prizes were paid to the top three finishers. The worst part of this was chasing the player who didn’t win to pay up.
It became too much work, and I let someone else take it over and eventually dropped out. Shortly after fantasy sport, in general, all migrated to online platforms, and offer all kinds of different contests today.
Fantasy sports and following sports take up a lot of your free time. There’s no way around it. If you are going to spend a few hundred dollars to participate in a league, you better do your research.
That has been the thing that over the years I’ve come to realize that my time is more valuable than the enjoyment I get from fantasy sports. I’d much rather have that time back to do something more productive with it than spending it on reaching players for a draft and tracking the outcome during games each week.
Money to Lose
Although I have had a wide varied of fantasy sports experiences over the years, I try to limit these activities today. I currently play in low-cost or free leagues. I happen to be in a $5 football league this season.
I’d much rather keep the money in my pocket using it wisely, then risk it. The fact that I’m not invested in these game monetarily keeps my time involvement to a minimum too.
A friend/ co-worker recently called me to let me know he was leaving my former company. He’ll be leaving with a six-month severance package. I know overall he doesn’t have much other money saved. He was looking to try and get together to see if I could offer some advice on his transition. When I suggested a date, he said he could get together on that night because he has his big money ($1000) fantasy draft that night.
Not how I’d be spending my money if I knew I only had a certain amount of saving left or no current job. I didn’t say anything, and we just looked for another date.
There are plenty of opportunities out there to play fantasy sports today. For as little as twenty-five cents you can participate in daily fantasy sports contents. The key remains is if you don’t have the money to lose you should be engaging in these activities. You can’t expect to participate in any contest hoping to win. Using the rent money to try to win big is going to put you in a bad spot 99.9% of the time.
Do you play fantasy sports? Do you consider fantasy sports gambling? What the largest amount of money you’ve spent/lost/won playing fantasy sports?