The joy of building your own fantasy sports team has been a hobby of many young sports enthusiasts. It’s not hard to see why: the thrill of stepping into a manager position to coach and fill the roster of your own NFL or NBA dream team is something that many passionate fans could do for hours on end.
But what if there were a way to have your fantasy sports team not only compete with others but win some cold hard cash should you claim victory? Welcome to the growing and expanding world of fantasy sports betting.
What Is Fantasy Sports Betting?
It’s a simple concept: take your beloved fantasy sports team (whether it be NFL, NBA, baseball, or even soccer) and see if your players have what it takes to take on other carefully crafted teams. How well each team does is based on points that are earned by how well their real-life members do in their actual games during a season.
There are typically two forms of competing: leagues and one on one. In league competitions, several bettors place their teams against each other and see which team earns the most points over a set period (typically a few games or even a season) to see which team reigns supreme. The top earner can get the entire pot or a portion of it, while the remainder is divided between the runner-ups. Of course, bettors can also compete against each other one on one. Typically the winner takes the entire pot.
How Big is Fantasy Sports Betting in the United States?
It’s an incredibly lucrative industry estimated at about $131 billion back in 2020. By 2028, the market is projected to grow larger than $140 billion. That’s no surprise because there are 45.9 million fantasy sports players in the United States, and that number keeps growing. These members make up 19% of the adult population of the United States – a 6% increase from 2014.
Those who choose to go pro and really invest their time to learn the ins and outs of the game can earn anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 on average in winnings.
The Growing Mobile Market
With the advent of the internet and the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s really no wonder that online and mobile betting is also taking off. After all, not only does the interface make placing your bets in the comfort of your own home convenient, but it also grants access to statistical data. All that data enables more educated guesses that increase the chances of victory. This makes mobile an enticing and easy portal into the world of fantasy sports betting. So easy, in fact, that about 70% of online bets come from mobile users.
The Legality of Fantasy Sports Betting
While gambling is a bit of a controversial subject, there is no denying the market’s growing demands. This has led to several pushes to increase the accessibility and ease of gambling. As of 2018, the Supreme Court removed the federal ban on sports betting. As of this writing, 43 out of the 50 states have legalized daily fantasy sports (DFS), a popular subset of fantasy sports betting typically within the time frame of between a day or week of gameplay.
The Future of Fantasy Sports Betting
So, we have increasing legalization, growing demand for accessibility, convenient online and mobile platforms, and the generations-long passion of sports enthusiasts. With all these factors in mind, it’s fair to say that fantasy sports betting will only grow more widely accepted and increase in market size as the years go by. For those who have always enjoyed making their own fantasy sports teams, maybe there’s a new avenue to turn that hobby into a lucrative endeavor.