Fantasy Sports in Casinos an Eventual Reality

Daily fantasy sports have become impossible to avoid. As a $3.6 billion industry, many have wondered when fantasy sports will crossover to sportsbooks. While there have been a few failed attempts in the past, the growing market suggests it is only a matter of time for another sportsbook to venture into the waters.

Online daily fantasy sports sites such as Fanduel Inc. and DraftKings Inc. have experienced a recent surge in success due to a regulation which separates what they provide from actual gambling. The industry has ballooned into a .6 billion industry, thanks to skill-based elements involved which render it 100% legal. This past year alone, entry fees from games daily fantasy games quadrupled from 5 million to billion.

The sites continue to grow and grow too, as more people are gaining trust in these operations, something which was tough to attain after Black Friday destroyed any confidence the average consumer had when it came to gambling online. Again, however, what these sites provide is not technically gambling, but rather a similar experience.

Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, said during a fantasy football panel during Super Bowl week, “Win or lose for the Cowboys, all they care about is fantasy.” While for many players this has been seen as a source of frustration, there is no denying the impact of fantasy sports, and the importance it now plays. Television broadcasts for NFL games routinely show a ticker on the bottom of the screen with updated player fantasy stats.

In 2013, $164 billion was wagered on sports in the U.S. Eilers Research estimates $160.3 billion was wagered through illegal bookmakers and offshore websites. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has long been a proponent for legalized sports gambling in the U.S., which he considers to be inevitable.

This has led many to wonder when daily fantasy sports may become a reality for sports books. The sites have developed a wide enough consumer base placing them in a position to merge with existing online sportsbooks if they do not make the transition to sportsbooks. Some experts predict legal online sports betting will become a reality within 10 years.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robbins has reiterated that his company is currently only focused on the now, and feels legalized sports betting is far from near. “It’s a possible benefit down the road, but I don’t think about it that much,” he said. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady even received an endorsement agreement from DailyMVP, a daily-play site created by TopLine Game Labs, which benefited from $25 million in funding from Cantor Ventures.