Fantasy Sports – Why You Must Play Responsibly
The fantasy sports industry is booming at present. Backed by investors such as Comcast and protected by a loophole in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006, which exempts fantasy sports from its list of prohibited games, major fantasy sports sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel operate freely without a gambling license.
Worth billions of dollars, these fantasy sports websites advertise their products and services so widely that not a single American can claim to have not seen their ads. Usually, these ads talk about the large real money prizes that can be won just by taking part in highly affordable contests.
Is Fantasy Sports Addiction Possible?
UCLA Gambling Studies Program Co-director Dr. Timothy Fong said that the number of people claiming to have gotten addicted to fantasy sports is bound to increase. Pointing out that Internet gambling addiction wasn’t very visible at first, he said that people took their time to come forward and admit that they had a problem.
Daily fantasy sports websites claim to entertain users and fan their passion for sports. While non players of fantasy sports lose interest in a match when it reaches the fourth quarter, fantasy sports players watch every second of it with the same passion. This is because they want to earn points on the fantasy teams they have built up. The performance of each player matters a lot in fantasy sports irrespective of whether the team wins or loses on field. Some experts say that fantasy sports can get addictive because of this.
Social Obligations of the Fantasy Sports Industry
Addiction experts do not even take into consideration the luck vs. skill debate while discussing addictions to games. Dr. Fong said that playing fantasy sports is definitely gambling and that it isn’t even debatable. He said:
You’re putting money up on an event of uncertain outcome in expectation or hope of winning a larger reward. That’s the definition of gambling.
But owing to the UIGEA loophole, fantasy sports websites do not consider themselves to be “gambling sites,” owing to which they do not offer the responsible gambling tools and resources that traditional online casinos offer to help customers gamble in a responsible manner and find assistance for problem gambling or gambling addiction if necessary. Charchian of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) said that he does not know of any studies relating addiction to fantasy sports, but admits that
there is awareness that there could be compulsive behavior tied to fantasy sports contests
Under these circumstances, addiction experts feel that the fantasy sports industry is not fulfilling any of its social obligations. National Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director Keith Whyte says that fantasy sports websites are not obliged to counsel players, but they are definitely obliged to identify problem players and help them. They definitely ought to warn customers about the dangers of addiction and advise them to play responsibly.
FSTA’s Responsible Gambling Guidelines
The FSTA expects its members to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Comply with the UIGEA of 2006 and all the state laws
- Maintain player funds and operational funds separately
- Make sure that paying customers reside in states with laws favorable to fantasy sports
- Prevent athletes from taking part in paid contests
- Implement proper anti money laundering and anti fraud measures
- Make sure that no underage resident signs up for real money
All the fantasy sports websites that FantasySports.net reviews, promotes, and recommends give top priority to customer welfare. All our recommended sites implement effective software processes to identify problem players and help them. Fantasy sports websites are aware that playing fantasy sports can get addictive and are doing everything in their power to prevent their customers from getting into trouble.
FantasySports.net urges users to have fun playing fantasy sports, but to play in a responsible manner. Never spend more on fantasy sports than you can afford and never chase your losses. Above all, quit playing when it you feel that it is the time to quit.