Submission Type

Presentation

Submission Title

Epidemiology of Daily Fantasy Sport Play

Session Title

Session 3-2-B: Understanding Daily Fantasy Sports from the Inside: Results from the Division on Addiction – DraftKings Research Collaborative

Location

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

30-5-2019 11:00 AM

End Date

30-5-2019 12:25 PM

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology | Sports Studies

Abstract

Abstract: Daily fantasy sports (DFS), a rapidly growing industry, allows players to create fantasy teams of real-life players and potentially win cash prizes, derived from entry fees. Some stakeholders have expressed concern that DFS’s accelerated nature and other features might promote excessive play and related harm. We conducted the first descriptive summary of actual DFS play using records from a cohort of subscribers to a dominant operator, DraftKings. Participants (N = 10,385) initially entered paid National Football League (NFL) contests. Across all participants, players entered a median of 2 contests per entry day and typically submitted a single entry for each contest they entered. Players paid a median of $87 in entry fees throughout the 2014 NFL season and experienced an overall median net loss of $30.7. However, we identified heavily involved sub-groups of players based on number of contests entered, total entry fees, and net loss. These top 1% groups were less likely to restrict themselves to NFL games, exhibited greater time involvement, but also won a greater percentage of the contests they entered than typical players. Our observations of typical and heavily involved players tend to mirror those generated in previous Internet sports gambling research.

Implications: The study provides the first analysis of the actual daily fantasy sports play of subscribers to a large fantasy sports site. The presentation also reviews what we do and don’t know about how daily fantasy sports play might relate to different forms of gambling and gambling-related problems. This work has important implications for understanding typical daily fantasy sports play and what play patterns might signal problematic behavior.

Keywords

daily fantasy sports, gambling, gambling problems

Author Bio

Dr. Sarah Nelson is the Associate Director for Research at the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Nelson has collaborated on studies of gambling involvement, the effects of exposure on gambling, gambling self-exclusion and self-limitation programs, models to detect internet gambling patterns that predict risk for gambling problems, and the actual play patterns of subscribers to a daily fantasy sports provider.

Funding Sources

This work was supported through a contract with DraftKings. DraftKings did not have any involvement in the research itself.

Competing Interests

The Division on Addiction and affiliated faculty have received funding in the past three years from DraftKings, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR), The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations via NIH and Indian Health Services (IHS), NIH, the Integrated Centre on Addiction Prevention and Treatment of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, which receives funding from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, National Center for Responsible Gaming, the New Mexico Responsible Gaming Association, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, and GVC Services, Ltd.

Comments

We request that this presentation be part of a panel with other DFS presentations by Dr. LaPlante, Dr. Martin, and Dr. Edson.

Share

COinS
 
May 30th, 11:00 AM May 30th, 12:25 PM

Epidemiology of Daily Fantasy Sport Play

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Abstract: Daily fantasy sports (DFS), a rapidly growing industry, allows players to create fantasy teams of real-life players and potentially win cash prizes, derived from entry fees. Some stakeholders have expressed concern that DFS’s accelerated nature and other features might promote excessive play and related harm. We conducted the first descriptive summary of actual DFS play using records from a cohort of subscribers to a dominant operator, DraftKings. Participants (N = 10,385) initially entered paid National Football League (NFL) contests. Across all participants, players entered a median of 2 contests per entry day and typically submitted a single entry for each contest they entered. Players paid a median of $87 in entry fees throughout the 2014 NFL season and experienced an overall median net loss of $30.7. However, we identified heavily involved sub-groups of players based on number of contests entered, total entry fees, and net loss. These top 1% groups were less likely to restrict themselves to NFL games, exhibited greater time involvement, but also won a greater percentage of the contests they entered than typical players. Our observations of typical and heavily involved players tend to mirror those generated in previous Internet sports gambling research.

Implications: The study provides the first analysis of the actual daily fantasy sports play of subscribers to a large fantasy sports site. The presentation also reviews what we do and don’t know about how daily fantasy sports play might relate to different forms of gambling and gambling-related problems. This work has important implications for understanding typical daily fantasy sports play and what play patterns might signal problematic behavior.