Category Archives: Sport

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.

College Hoops: A Dissatisfied Public on Many Issues

As NCAA college basketball heads for the Final Four, the overall public voiced discontent over a number of issues related to the sport.

57% felt the proposal by Education Secretary Arne Duncan – that a 40% graduation rate be imposed to make a team tournament eligible – should be higher, with only 19% saying there should be no requirement.

  • 76% felt that, some, most, or almost all colleges break the rules in recruiting athletes.
  • 59% felt that it hurts the game when players leave school early to turn pro.
  • 77% felt that coaches – both basketball and football – should be more tightly supervised by their universities.

More than 1 in 4 – 28% – think that college basketball players intentionally influence the outcome of games because of gambling interests.

“These results run consistent to polling in previous years,” said Gentile. “People tend to want the college experience to be more about college than a training ground for professional athletes.”

Public Comes Down Hard on Saints Too

ONE IN FOUR THINK PUNISHMENT NOT SEVERE ENOUGH –
51% THINK NFL RESPONSE WILL REDUCE INJURIES

More than 1 in 4 Americans who follow sports would have gone farther than the NFL did in punishing the New Orleans Saints for the use of “bounties” to reward the infliction of injury on opposing players.

According to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week, 26% felt the punishment, which included the season-long suspension of the team’s head coach, was not severe enough, with 57% saying the punishment was appropriate. Only 11% felt it was too severe.

51% thought the NFL’s response would have an impact on the number of player injuries during the season.

The poll was conducted among 779 randomly selected people across the country, of whom 618 said they followed sports at least somewhat. The poll has a margin of error of 3.6%; 4% for sports fans.

“When the punishment first came out, the reaction was that it was strong but appropriate, but this shows that a lot of people felt the Commissioner should have even gone further“ noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.