Draft day is fast approaching for thousands of fantasy football leagues across the country. For millions of fantasy players, it’s the most anticipated day of the year. They obsess over statistics, map out draft strategies and try to predict which players will have breakout seasons.
For many Americans, fantasy football is a fun way to connect with family and friends while enjoying a sport they love. For others, it’s an activity that can trigger real life consequences. That’s because, as several studies have shown, daily fantasy sports players are more likely to have gambling problems than non-players. One of the reasons for that is player demographics. Fantasy players tend to be young, male and sports enthusiasts – each a group known to be at higher risk for problem gambling.
Actual cases of fantasy sports players with severe gambling problems have been documented and reported in national media, including:
- “Jay” who was in recovery from sports betting when he started playing fantasy sports and lost over $50,000. -Think Progress May 7, 2015
- Josh Adams who “lost $20,000 in daily fantasy games and tens of thousands more in illegal sports bets. His life, consumed by gambling, disintegrated to where he considered suicide.” -New York Times, November 22, 2015
- “Paul” who lost “between $60,000 to $65,000…mostly on credit cards.” -PBS Frontline, February, 2016
Fantasy football can really enhance the experience of being a fan – but if you’re worried that your hobby is getting out of control, don’t wait to get help. Visit BeforeYouBet.org to find information, education and treatment resources for problem gambling.