Submission Type

Presentation

Submission Title

Populations Patterns of Daily Fantasy Sports 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

Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Epidemiology | Psychology

Abstract

Abstract: Populations of gamblers can adapt rapidly to online sports betting services. Adaptation typically shows initial play increases followed by sharp betting (e.g., amount wagered and number of bets) declines. Currently, we know very little about whether these trends are evident for daily fantasy sports. Understanding this is important because daily fantasy sports is an immensely popular activity that many have compared with traditional gambling. To examine this issue, we conducted a longitudinal analysis of daily fantasy sports play on the DraftKings website. We followed 11,338 unique DraftKings players, tracking their overall levels of engagement (i.e., total contest entries, total contest entry fees, and total participation) for 27 months. In this paper, we present daily and monthly trends for these activities. We observed increasing engagement over time among a minority of the most involved players (i.e., the top 1% of players on each engagement metric). Less involved players (LIP), who comprised the majority of the player pool (i.e., the remaining 99% of players on each metric), tended to exhibit increased initial engagement followed by decreasing engagement over time. These LIP findings are consistent with exposure and adaptation models. Aggregate playing trends for all groups of players were seasonal.

Implications: This study provides the first longitudinal analysis of actual daily fantasy sports playing trends using player records. In contrast to popular concerns about the activity, we determined that models of exposure and adaptation can help to explain aggregate trends of daily fantasy sports.

Keywords

daily fantasy sports, gambling, involvement

Author Bio

Dr. Debi LaPlante is the Director of Research & Academic Affairs at the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. LaPlante is a co-author of the Addiction Syndrome model, co-creator of The BASIS, co-founder of Gambling Disorder Screening Day, and co-developer of The Transparency Project. Her research includes daily fantasy sports and Internet gambling, tribal youth in recovery, and assessing public health systems in expanding gambling markets.

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 paper be placed on a panel with other DFS papers by Nelson, Edson, and Martin.

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

Populations Patterns of Daily Fantasy Sports Play

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Abstract: Populations of gamblers can adapt rapidly to online sports betting services. Adaptation typically shows initial play increases followed by sharp betting (e.g., amount wagered and number of bets) declines. Currently, we know very little about whether these trends are evident for daily fantasy sports. Understanding this is important because daily fantasy sports is an immensely popular activity that many have compared with traditional gambling. To examine this issue, we conducted a longitudinal analysis of daily fantasy sports play on the DraftKings website. We followed 11,338 unique DraftKings players, tracking their overall levels of engagement (i.e., total contest entries, total contest entry fees, and total participation) for 27 months. In this paper, we present daily and monthly trends for these activities. We observed increasing engagement over time among a minority of the most involved players (i.e., the top 1% of players on each engagement metric). Less involved players (LIP), who comprised the majority of the player pool (i.e., the remaining 99% of players on each metric), tended to exhibit increased initial engagement followed by decreasing engagement over time. These LIP findings are consistent with exposure and adaptation models. Aggregate playing trends for all groups of players were seasonal.

Implications: This study provides the first longitudinal analysis of actual daily fantasy sports playing trends using player records. In contrast to popular concerns about the activity, we determined that models of exposure and adaptation can help to explain aggregate trends of daily fantasy sports.