Category Archives: Fantasy Sports

Young People Show Greater Support for Legalized Sports Gambling, but Overall Nation Divided

Strong support for sports gambling being regulated on a State-by-State basis

South Orange, NJ, February 23, 2017 – If younger people are to set the trend for the future of legalized gambling in America, they are certainly showing support for the concept today.

Asked by the Seton Hall Sports Poll this week, “It’s been said a lot of people bet on sporting events anyway, so government should allow it and tax it. It’s also been said legal betting on sporting events is a bad idea because it promotes too much gambling and damages the integrity of sports. Which comes closer to your view?”…….

…….46% of Americans stated support for allowing betting on sporting events, while 42% said it was bad idea. This is a substantial increase from 2010 when a Fairleigh Dickinson poll showed 39% of Americans supported it, with 54% saying it was a bad idea.

Younger people are twice as likely to say “allow it” than those over 60. There is a clear age trend in support by age group: 67% of 18-29, 48% of 30-44, 42% of 45-59 and 30% of 60+.

The poll was conducted February 20-22 among 626 adults across the country on both landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of 4.0 %.

“If younger people carry those beliefs forward, and as they become lawmakers themselves, we could see a major shift in the legality of sports gambling,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.

But where will the shift occur? A growing number of people, representative of general trends in the US, believe it should be on a state-by-state basis. 70% of all respondents support regulation on a state-by-state basis, with only 21% saying gambling should be regulated by the federal government. When asked this question in November 2014, 61% said state-by-state, and 29% said federal government.

The age trend also was also demonstrable on a question of whether it was appropriate for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s to call for legalized betting on a strictly regulated basis: 56% of those 18-29 supported his stance as appropriate, 34% of those 30-44, 28% of those 45-59 and 21% of those 60+ supported the stance.

Similarly, addressing New Jersey’s attempt of recent years to allow for sports gambling, 61% of those 18-29 said they should have passed the law, while 50% of those 30-44, 47% of those 45-59 and 33% of those 60+ supported it.

Daily fantasy games, a recent entry into the sports gambling discussion, attracts young people far more than older ones. While nationwide, only 15% say that have participated, the number is 24% for those 18-29, 11% for those 45-59, and only 6% for those 60+. 61% of all respondents believe those daily fantasy games are a form of gambling, with 23% calling them a game of skill.

Asked “have you ever gambled on a sporting event?” 31% of all respondents said yes, 66% said no. This is in line with the same question, asked in November 2014, at which time 33% said yes, 67% no.

A podcast in which Seth Everett interviews Rick Gentile will be available shortly.

 

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone February 20-22 among 626 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

Media: Media: Marty Appel Public Relations , AppelPR@gmail.com;
Seton Hall Associate Director of Media Relations, Michael Ricciardelli, michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu

The results:

  1. It’s been said a lot of people bet on sporting events anyway, so government should allow it and tax it. It’s also been said legal betting on sporting events is a bad idea because it promotes too much gambling and damages the integrity of sports. Which comes closer to your view?

Allow it 46%

Bad idea 42

Don’t know 12

 

  1. A while ago NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reversed the league’s historical stance and advocated legalized betting on sporting events on a strictly regulated basis. Do you think it’s appropriate for the leader of a major professional sports league to take such a stance?

Yes 34

No 51

Don’t know 15

  1. A few years ago, New Jersey passed a law allowing for sports gambling in the state. The major sports leagues and the NCAA successfully lobbied for an injunction to block the law because they said gambling on sporting events damaged the integrity of the game. Do you think New Jersey should have been able to pass a law allowing sports betting in the state?

Yes 47

No 39

Don’t know 13

  1. Four states (Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon) are exempt from a federal law passed in 1992 that banned betting on sporting events. With which of the following statements do you agree?

The law should be left as it is 18

The law should be changed to allow all states to legalize sports betting if   they choose to do so. 45

Legalized sports betting should be outlawed in the four states in which it’s now legal 23

Don’t know 15

 

 

  1. Do you think publishing point spreads in newspapers and on line encourages betting on sporting events?

Yes 53

No 36

Don’t know 11

  1. If gambling on sporting events was legalized do you think it should be regulated on a state-by-state basis or by the federal government?

State-by-state 70

Federal government 21

Don’t know 10

  1. Have you ever gambled on a sporting event?
  2. Yes 31
  3. No 66
  4. Refuse to answer 3

 

(IF NO TO PREVIOUS QUESTION)

 

  1. If gambling on sporting events was legalized do you think you would place a bet?

Yes 13

No 80

Don’t know 8

  1. Commissioner Silver stated that gambling has become a popular form of entertainment in the United States. Do you agree or disagree?

Agree 69

Disagree 22

Don’t know 9

 

  1. Baseball spring training has just begun in Florida and Arizona. Do you plan on participating in a baseball fantasy league this season?

Yes 2

No 91

Don’t know 6

  1. Have you ever participated in any of the daily fantasy games for any sports?

Yes 15

No 81

Don’t know 4

  1. Do you think participating in fantasy activities is a game of skill and therefore should be exempt from gambling laws or is it just another form of gambling?

Game of skill 23

Gambling 61

Don’t know 17

 

Roughly Half Say Sports Events and Presidential Election Could Be ‘Rigged’

South Orange, NJ, October 31, 2016 – With the word “rigged” being thrown about in this election season, the Seton Hall Sports Poll asked Americans if they felt that sports contests and the upcoming presidential election “could be rigged by outside influences.”

A majority, though in some cases slim, said “yes, they could be rigged.”

sports-poll-10-31-16-riggedThe results: 52% said “yes” that an NFL game “could be rigged by outside influences” with 42% saying “no.” For an NBA game, 51% said yes; 42% no.

For college sports the margins were closer: for a college football game, it was 47% yes, 46% no, and for a college basketball game, it was 46% yes, 45% no.

Of all the questions asked, only baseball’s World Series, taking place as the poll was conducted, had a majority that believed its games could not be “fixed,” with only 42% saying “yes” and 51% saying “no.”

And pointedly, 47% of Americans said “yes” a presidential election “could be rigged by outside influences,” while 46% said “no”.

In each case, between 7-9% said they did not know.

The poll was conducted last week – October 24-26 – among 841 adults (landline and cellphone) with a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.

Asked whether the presidential election “could be rigged,” 47% said yes, and there is a great deal of overlap in the people that believe in rigging – of that 47%, some two-thirds said yes, the NFL or NBA could be rigged, and somewhat fewer – 57% – said the World Series could be rigged.

“The sports organizing bodies rely heavily on the public believing that their games are honest,” said Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “This measurement of public perception certainly can’t please them, just as people in government are so upset about Donald Trump’s charges.”

The poll also asked whether some teams having ownership positions with fantasy sports companies opens the door for the rigging of performances of professional athletes to affect the daily fantasy outcomes.  45% said yes, 32% said no, with 24% stating “don’t know.”

Rick Gentile was interviewed by Seth Everett for a podcast on the poll’s findings, which can be heard at https://t.co/jShJhGXMWi

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone October 24-26 among 841 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

Media: Media: Marty Appel Public Relations, AppelPR@gmail.com;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall University, michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu, 908-447-3034

Sports Poll Cited in MarketWatch on Fantasy Sports, ‘Gambling’ and how to Invest in DFS

RothbortProfessor Scott Rothbort of the Stillman School of Business cited findings of the Seton Hall Sports Poll in an article he wrote for MarketWatch.

In the article, “4 ways to make money on fantasy sports without gambling,” Rothbort, the founder and president of LakeView Asset Management, writes:

Daily fantasy sports or “DFS” sites have been all the rage recently, as its advertising has inundated the airwaves, participation has surged and controversy has taken root. Governmental regulators and attorneys general have voiced their opinions as to its legality (or lack thereof) in hearings and pronouncements too numerous to list. Furthermore, there was even an “insider trader” case which raised some concerns as to fairness in these sports fantasy leagues.

In other words, there’s a lot of heat being generated in the space. Is it a passing fad or is there something lasting here as a business? And if so, what does that mean for a potential investor (as opposed to a player)?

The Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted by the Sharkey Institute at Seton Hall University‘s Stillman School of Business, recently asked the public what they thought about DFS: Are these games of skill or gambling; should they be regulated; and, should they be legal?

In the November poll, 50% say they believe it is a form of gambling, 30% say it is a game of skill and 20% did not know. This compares to the same poll conducted in September in which 52% said gambling, 31% responded skill, leaving 17% who did not know. The lack of any real movement in these numbers, despite all the controversy during the time between the polls, indicates a solid result.

Also in the November poll, on the question of should there be state regulation: 51% said yes and 35% said no. As to legality, in the same poll, 54% said it should be legal and 38% said illegal.

The takeaway from these polls is that a majority of respondents believe that the sports-fantasy industry should be legalized and regulated. That is really what the attorneys general want. By doing so, this would enable the states to: control the activities, impose licensing fees, and make sure they get their fair share of taxes from winnings. The IRS already requires the issuance of a 1099 form for winnings over $600, much like what is done at the racetrack, and hence the federal government already has its finger in the sports fantasy pie.

I am not a regulator or an attorney. I am an investor and finance professor. My questions are not on legality or gambling but … how can you make money by investing alongside the fantasy sports industry? Read more.

Seton Hall Sports Poll November, 2015

73% OF AMERICANS SAY THEY ARE ‘CONCERNED ABOUT ATTENDING A SPORTING EVENT IN A LARGE VENUE’ IN WAKE OF PARIS ATTACKS

South Orange, NJ, November 19, 2015 — 73% of Americans say they are either very or somewhat concerned about attending a sporting event in a large venue, following the Paris attacks last week which included terrorist activity outside of Stade de France during a major soccer match.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll was conducted this week (Nov 16-18) among 879 random adults across the country, reached by landline and cellphone. 34% said they were very concerned, 39% said they were somewhat concerned, and 23% said it made no difference.  The Paris attacks took place last Friday.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.3%.

“This is a dramatic number, and something that should be noted by all sports leagues that play in large venues,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “Normally, Americans rally quickly and say ‘This will not change my way of life.’ But in this case, it has clearly given them pause.”

THREATENED STRIKE BY MISSOURI FOOTBALL GARNERS REACTION

The Poll also asked whether the threatened strike by the University of Missouri football team, in the wake of reaction to racial tensions on campus by the University president, was appropriate – the question being, “Do you think a school sponsored sports team should involve itself in campus politics?” On this the nation was evenly divided, with 44% saying yes and 46% no. However, among those 18-29, the “yes” received a 57% to a 37% “no,” while those over 60 were 38% to 50%.

PAY FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES? A SPIKE IN SUPPORT IS REGISTERED

The Poll regularly asks whether college athletes in revenue-generating sports should be compensated beyond scholarships. In the past, those saying yes has been fairly consistent, ranging from 21% in 2007 to 27% in 2011. This year (with the question saying “football players” as opposed to “athletes”), 36% said yes, which was up sizably from the 25% approval in 2013. “Public opinion is slowly shifting on this one,” noted Gentile. “Of course the majority still say ‘no,’ but we will be watching this.”

ONLINE FANTASY SPORTS CONTINUES TO DRAW MIXED OPINIONS

Despite all the recent attention paid to online fantasy sports (notably through DraftKings and FanDuel, and more recently, Yahoo!), the public remains consistent on whether these are games of skill or a form of gambling, and whether they should be legislated. 50% believe them to be a form of gambling, 30% say it is a game of skill, and 20% don’t know. In September, the numbers were 52%, 31% and 17%. As for whether states should be regulating the sites, (New York and Nevada have banned them), 51% say the states should regulate, and 35% say no. As for legality, 54% say the practice should be legal, 38% say it should be illegal and 9% don’t know. And finally, as to whether or not people agreed with the decision by the New York State Attorney General to order that Fan Duel and Draft Kings cease doing business in the state:

  • Agree                            38%
  • Disagree                       31
  • Don’t know                   31

BAN ALL RUSSIAN TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES FROM OLYMPICS?

With the World Anti-Doping Agency finding Russian track and field athletes guilty of systematic doping, people were asked whether Russian athletes should be banned from next year’s Olympics. 77% said only athletes testing positive should be banned, with just 14% saying the whole Russian track and field team should be banned.

The Agency has banned the guilty athletes from international competition.

Rick Gentile and Seth Everett talk about the results.

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone November 16-18 among 879 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

The Results (all findings listed in %):

Fan Duel and Draft Kings, two daily fantasy sports websites, were ordered to cease doing business in New York State last week because they were deemed to be gambling sites. Do you agree with the decision by NY State or disagree?

  • Agree                            38%
  • Disagree                       31
  • Don’t know                   31

Do you think participation in daily fantasy sports is a form of gambling or is it a game of skill?

  • Form of gambling         50
  • Game of skill                  31
  • Don’t know                     20

Internet betting on sporting events is illegal in most states. Do you think playing daily fantasy sports on the internet should be illegal as well?

  • Yes                                    38
  • No                                     54
  • Don’t know                        9

Do you think betting on sporting events on the internet should be illegal?

  • Yes                                    40
  • No                                     47
  • Don’t know                      13

A number of states, including New Jersey and California, are discussing regulating of daily fantasy websites. Do you think these sites should be regulated by state governments?

  • Yes                                    51
  • No                                     35
  • Don’t know                      14

The University of Missouri football team threatened to strike and forfeit a game if the president of the university didn’t resign over his remarks about racial tensions on campus. Do you think a school sponsored sports team should involve itself in campus politics?

  • Yes                                    44
  • No                                     46
  • Don’t know                      10

College football generates enormous profits for many universities. Do you   think college football players should be compensated beyond the scholarships they receive?

  • Yes                                    36
  • No                                     57
  • Don’t know                        7

Russia has been banned from international track and field competitions pending a doping investigation of athletes and officials. If the allegations prove to be true do you think all Russian track and field athletes should be banned from next year’s Olympics, or only Russian track and field athletes who test positive for performance enhancing drugs should be banned?

  • All Russian track and field athletes should be banned            14
  • Only athletes testing positive should be banned                      77
  • Don’t know                                                                                         8

There was just a terror attack at a soccer stadium in Paris. How concerned does this make you in regard to attending a sporting event in a large venue in the United States?

  • Very concerned               34
  • Somewhat concerned    39
  • It makes no difference   23
  • Don’t know                         4

New Jersey Bill: DFS ‘Not Gambling’ but Should be Regulated by Gambling Commission

Seal_of_New_Jersey.svgInteresting article in NorthJersey.com on Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and the prospect of it being regulated in New Jersey. The article’s author, John Brennan of The Record, notes that New Jersey is the “nation’s No. 2 gambling state” behind Nevada and that a bill (Whelan, D-Atlantic County) to be discussed before the New Jersey Assembly would designate DFS as “not gambling” under state law, but have it fall under the jurisdiction and regulation of New Jersey’s “Division of Gaming Enforcement, the state body that oversees Atlantic City’s casinos and online gambling.”

Brennan notes that:

The crux of the debate over daily fantasy sports is whether the competitions are games of skill — as operators insist — or games of chance, and therefore gambling, as critics contend.

The confusion on this issue appears to extend to the public at large. A recent national poll by Seton Hall University found that 52 percent of Americans consider daily fantasy sports to be a form of gambling, while 31 percent consider them to be a game of skill.

On this point, Whelan’s bill appears to be “inconsistent,” said Nicholas Casiello, a gaming law attorney partner at the Atlantic City-based law firm Fox Rothschild.

“If daily fantasy sports is not gambling, you have to question whether it needs to be regulated in the same way that gambling is regulated,” he said.

The Casino Association of New Jersey, which represents seven of Atlantic City’s eight remaining casinos including the market-leading Borgata, did not respond to a request for comment. However, Tom Ballance, the Borgata’s president and chief operating officer, offered an unambiguous assessment of daily fantasy sports.

“Borgata’s and Boyd Gaming’s position is simple: Daily fantasy sports is clearly gambling and should be regulated as such,” Ballance said in a statement, referring to the casino’s parent company.

The bill is the product of New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan, an Atlantic County Democrat who served as mayor of Atlantic City for 11 years and is known as a steadfast casino advocate. Senator Whelan is said to have met privately with representatives of FanDuel and DraftKings this last Thursday.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing before the New Jersey Assembly on Monday, November 9 and “is expected to feature testimony from representatives of the leading daily fantasy sites.”

Public Divided on Whether Fantasy Sports Commercials Should Run During Televised Games; Governor Christie’s ‘Really?’ Comment on Debate May Have Rung True

South Orange, NJ, October 29, 2015 — Despite ongoing investigations by the Justice Department and the FBI into whether daily sports fantasy games are a form of gambling, the American public is divided on whether commercials for those sites should be appearing in televised sports events.

A Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week (Oct. 26-28) among 820 random adults across the country by landline and cellphone, found that 41% felt they should be able to advertise and 39% felt they should not. (20% said they did not know.)

The poll has a margin of error of 3.5%, making the result a statistical dead heat.

“The ads from DraftKings and FanDuel are ubiquitous,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “They are definitely a new and impactful part of the sports landscape. It happened, seemingly, overnight. But there is certainly no hard push-back by viewers about running these ads.

“It seems to harken what {N.J.} Governor {Chris} Christie said in the debate last night about playing fantasy sports as an issue – ‘really?’”

Only 4% of respondents said they participated in a baseball fantasy game.

The Poll also asked if sponsors who promote products (such as fantasy sports), in an environment where its athletes are forbidden to participate (college athletes may not gamble), should not be allowed to advertise on any college sports. By 59% to 34%, respondents said they should not. A similar margin – 56%-36% – felt that beer advertising should not appear on college sports telecasts.   (It currently does). The Poll also noted that the NCAA has said the ads will not run during their college basketball tournaments, and 47% felt that was a good decision, versus only 30% saying it was a bad decision. (23% did not know).

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DFS, Advertising and the Potential Cost of a Messaging Narrative

Michael J. Ricciardelli, 2015Perhaps, as the International Business Times has noted, there’s an element of backlash against Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) from a public bombarded by its advertising: The New York Times reported that Fan Duel and Draft Kings spent “more than $27 million for about 8,000 television spots in the opening week of the N.F.L. season”; according to iSpot.tv, which tracks national TV advertising spending, in the last seven days of this week Fan Duel alone spent an estimated $11,234,816 on 1,662 buys –-enough to garner it 6th place—behind Geico, Ford and AT&T, but ahead of Verizon, iPhone and Toyota and all but, well, only five other companies in the entirety of the United States.

Which is to say, DFS ads are everywhere –- and If you are a sports fan they have, for good or ill, become a part of your life.

And beyond a generalized level of annoyance, maybe part of the difficulty DFS now faces (and it faces some major and mounting difficulties) is rooted in that message they spent so much to have tattooed within the popular psyche— which is to say, to some extent, they may have been hoist by their own petard.

Two ads or aspects of DFS ads immediately come to mind for me: 1) a young man who says he deposited a total of $35 and has won over $2 million; and 2) another man who, also a winner, says that the only difference between him and all the people who didn’t win is that he played and they didn’t.

Which sounds to me, a bit like an ad for a lottery.

And, as the Seton Hall Sports Poll noted in the release of its poll on Oct. 1, 2015, for DFS the

“waiver to advertise and promote in sports telecasts was based on [the] argument that it is not gambling.”

But, as the poll found, a “wide margin” questioned disagreed:

And, it seems, other people—attorneys general, district attorneys, legislators, the Department of Justice, the FBI, media networks and even the heads of college athletic leagues — are beginning to have questions of their own.

DFS has had to respond and those responses are not without cost: a few weeks ago FanDuel hired Steptoe & Johnson as its federal lobbyist; this week, in the wake of calls for state and federal regulation, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (established in 1998, who knew?) appointed Seth D. Harris to head a Fantasy Sports Control Agency. Seth Harris is the former acting Secretary of Labor and a former Professor at New York Law and a Visiting Professor at Seton Hall Law School (in the interest of disclosure, I’m a graduate of Seton Hall Law; Go Pirates!). He is also a member of the Public Policy and Regulation practice at Dentons US LLP, and has been charged with “creating a strict, transparent and effective system of self-regulation for the businesses that comprise the fantasy sports industry.”

Whether or not the lobbyists can hold the wolves at bay and/or self-regulation will ultimately be deemed by the powers that be to be sufficient, I do not know; but I do know this: win, lose or draw it’ll be an expensive proposition, but even more expensive with a loss.

Going forward, DFS might want to consider the impact of its messaging and the importance of a consistent narrative. And, when it comes to its legislative, lobbying and lawyering efforts, DFS had better hope it picked the right team.

 

 

Fantasy Sports Games Viewed as Gambling, not Game of Skill by Wide Margin in Seton Hall Sports Poll

Waiver to Advertise and Promote in Sports Telecasts Was Based on Argument That It Is Not Gambling

This is the year that American sports fans have become accustomed to seeing advertising for fantasy sports games (involving the selection of players), while viewing live sports. While sports long embraced a “No Betting” concept with fans, the operators of such companies as DraftKings and FanDuel persuaded regulators that their games were games of skill, not gambling per se.

But the American people are not buying that argument. According to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week, 52% of Americans believe them to be a form of gambling, with only 31% believing them to be games of skill. The margin remains the same among categories of respondents that should know the difference: those that have gambled before, participated in fantasy sports and even those that paid money to participate in fantasy sports, with all categories saying it is a form of gambling by a range of 50-54%.

By a margin of 41% to 47% against, people are saying that these games should not be advertised during live sports coverage, though this is not as one-sided as the 29% to 59% that are against advertising gambling on the direct outcome of the games themselves.

“To see the influx of these fantasy games is a remarkable milestone for sports, which has always taken such a hard line on gambling,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “No betting signs were always prominent at ballparks. And now this.”

The Seton Hall survey found that 19% of respondents have participated in a fantasy league, a daily fantasy or both, while 13% have participated in the last 12 months. This is almost a threefold increase compared to February 2006 when 5% gave an affirmative answer in the Pew Social Trends Poll.

“This topic figures to remain an important one in the sports universe for the foreseeable future,” said Gentile.