Daily Fantasy Sports: A Long Shot

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Winning Money at Daily Fantasy Sports Is a Long Shot

The odds of bringing home big bucks aren't in your favor.


Anyone who watches professional football on TV has likely seen the commercials for DraftKings or FanDuel, the two biggest companies in the growing industry of one-day fantasy sports. The ads make fantasy games sound easy. Select a sport, pay an entry fee (typically $1 to $20) and choose a lineup of players based on who you think will perform well in that day’s real-life games. Assemble a better team than your competitors, and you stand to win a jackpot of hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

See Also: The IRS Wants to Know About Your Fantasy Sports Winnings

But with beginners facing off against elite players, chances are you won’t be the next “regular guy” holding a giant check on TV between quarters. About 70% of daily fantasy players broke even or lost money over the past year, according to Eilers Research, a gaming research firm.

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Daily fantasy is considered a game of skill, which currently exempts it from a federal law prohibiting sports gambling. That may change. The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating, and class-action suits have cried "foul." Six states already label daily fantasy as gambling—including Nevada, whose gaming commission sets the tone for regulators nationwide.