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The Rise of Fantasy Sports

The Rise of Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports are sports competitions where participants act as owners to build imaginary teams based on real world athletes. These teams then compete based on statistics generated by real individual players or teams of professional sport

The concept began with baseball in the 1950s, was reinvented with Rotisserie League Baseball in 1980, and then spread to other sports. By 1988, five hundred thousand people were playing.

Traditional Fantasy Leagues

Players manage a roster of real-world professional athletes and compete based on the statistical results of athletes over an entire season. 

Daily Fantasy Leagues

Daily leagues (DFS) typically include an entry fee and compete based on the performance of athletes in a single day. 

Short History of Online Gambling in the United States


Online poker appears on January 1, 1998, and by the end of the year is worth nearly $834 million.


A massive internet boom has taken place and online poker is worldwide. The USA generates approximately 50% of the $8.5 billion revenue from online gambling.


The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is passed in the United States, making transactions from gambling sites to banks illegal, and effectively shutting down online poker. Major online poker sites are no longer open to US players, internet traffic drops markedly and remaining games become difficult to profit from.

Online fantasy sports are not affected as the UIGEA gives them an exemption as long as they meet specific criteria. 


In April, the U.S. Attorney’s office indicts 11 individuals and launches a $3 billion civil lawsuit against the three major online poker websites. 

This has a drastic effect on online gambling, and within a week online poker traffic drops by 22 percent. While it can still be played in a few states, the number of players falls considerably.

While Government crackdowns discouraged potential gamblers from using online poker websites, an increasing number of people find a legal way to play the odds online through fantasy sports sites.

Daily fantasy sports emerged following the UIGEA fantasy sports exemption, and the earliest participants in daily fantasy sports came from the poker world. Daily fantasy sports are very similar to online poker, and it may be the new face of betting in the United States, seen as legal and more socially acceptable compared to online poker. 

While online poker fades out, DFS continues to grow. In 2014, 35 million adults in the United States took part in some type of fantasy sport worth $4 billion.

Fantasy sports could be seen as the new day trading, trading athletes instead of companies. In the fantasy cricket domain in India, a Cricket Stock Exchange is an online game working on the principles of the Stock Exchange. 

Following the 2011 shakeup of on-line poker, fantasy sports have grown into a major cultural phenomenon in the United States and show no signs of slowing down. Fanduel, the marketleader for daily fantasy sports offers not only a great platform, the biggest guaranteed prizepools but also the highest bonuses, check out the Fanduel Promo Code.

Importantly, they cater to a growing consumer need, and as yet there is no legal gambling alternative.