By Christian Pascoal
Fantasy Football has become almost as popular as the sport in its name. Tens of millions of Americans participate in some way in the game of fantasy football each season.
With gambling becoming more and more acceptable and even legal in some states, it’s not a surprise that companies have found a way to make money off this increasingly popular game.
FanDuel and DraftKings are the two most popular daily fantasy sports (DFS) apps and allow people to make lineups on a week to week basis and gamble money on their team doing better than others to possibly win money.
Both apps are incredibly easy to use and make it simple for even an amateur fantasy football fan to figure out how to make a lineup and get playing. The Supreme Court decided several years ago that this is technically not considered “sports betting”, but it essentially serves the same function.
This has raised the question: Is it healthy and smart for young people with disposable income to be freely gambling on football like this with such ease and leisure?
To be fair, young people have always been attracted to betting on sports, we are just evolving from the days of sketchy bookies in bars to a new technology based gambling era.
Personally, I have no problem with apps like DraftKings and FanDuel and think they add a new, fun layer to an already entertaining concept. To be fair though, I am a little bias in the matter.
I myself am an avid gambler on a variety of sports and actually live in a state (New Jersey), where sports gambling is completely legal. It`s actually scary how convenient it is to gamble on basically any sporting event. All I have to do is open an app, put in my debit card and pick a game to wager on.
Betting money on DFS apps is not quite as difficult and risky and allows young adults to experience both the highs and lows of gambling in a relatively harmless environment.
I`m not saying that you can`t get out of hand playing and spending money on fantasy football, you can, but gambling is not a temptation that is going to go away as we get older in the coming years.
The opposite in fact, sports gambling has seen a wave of states legalizing in recent years, with 13 states having already legalized sports gambling and six more expected over the next year. The stigma against gambling is evaporating and it`s about to become more mainstream than ever.
Which is why I feel that daily fantasy apps are actually helpful for an inexperienced gambler to get acclimated with the feeling of what it is like to win or lose money based on what happens in a sporting event.
It allows someone to get the emotional experience of gambling money and understand the consequences, which they may have never experienced before. The ups and downs of sports betting can be very strong emotions and daily fantasy sports can grant you the chance to experience them for the first time.
Gambling can become an addiction if left unchecked so it’s important if your interested in doing it that you get a feel for how you react to winning and losing money. These DFS apps allow beginning gamblers to take a stab at it in a more friendly, fun atmosphere.
It’s ignorant to ignore the popularity of sports betting in this country, especially among young males, so I think DFS apps are actually quite helpful in giving these people a platform to start their gambling careers in a not-so-risky and unhealthy way.
Christian Pascoal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org