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Fantasy Sports Is A Game Of Skill

by John on 10/20/2014

A few states prohibit fantasy sports saying it is gambling, a game of chance – not a game of skill.

But watch the recent episode on fantasy sports on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel along with an interview with Carl Quintanilla who reported the story.

You will quickly understand that fantasy sports is a game of skill.

Quintanilla spent time with a number of fantasy sports players as they competed during the end of the Major League Baseball season.

Some of these guys have created lucrative side jobs – with 6-figure payouts. Some have sophisticated algorithms while others just know sports. Some of these guys (they didn’t show us any gals) were stock day-traders. The point was clear: choosing a player for your fantasy roster was no different than picking a stock or commodity that will go up or down in price.

Still, there was a fascinating drama during the Real Sports episode involving a burst water pipe outside a baseball stadium at the start of a game. That pipe caused so much water damage the game was postponed. For the fantasy players at a million dollar tournament it was a disaster of another kind. Those fantasy players had already entered their fantasy picks for the night. But because there was no game, those picks were worthless to the fantasy players yielding them no points and no chance at the million dollar jackpot.

The water pipe raised the question of luck – or chance – in fantasy sports.

But if you think that way then we should consider stock picking or investing in start-ups as a game of chance.

Daniel Kahneman has written a fabulous book called Thinking Fast and Slow. Here is my review from a few years ago.

In the review, I pointed to Kahneman’s analysis of the success of Google which he says was 33% luck. I wrote:

Was it the skill of the founders?  Sure, but Kahneman also makes the case that Google was very lucky.  Be honest with yourself: most of your success includes a factor of luck.  He doesn’t quote Ben Hogan, but Hogan’s theory of success works here. “I find the more I practice the luckier I get.”

The question still remains if fantasy sports will be regulated by the federal government. I don’t think so unless there is a rash of kids racking up thousands of charges on their parents credit cards. Right now, the industry is booming with hardly any hard luck stories.

A staggering prediction from The Real Sports episode: some fantasy sports sites in the next two years could be paying out to players more than $1 billion a year. This is an industry that is creating new wealth for individuals while also spurring new and deeper interest in American sports.

All that confirms what we’ve been seeing at NOWtv as we create video and online content for G1E Fantasy Sports.

  • Fantasy sports is a played by an estimated 32 million Americans.
  • Fantasy sports is an $18 billion industry.
  • Nearly $11 billion comes from fantasy football.
  • All those stats come from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association which leads to another revelation: who knew there was already a fantasy sports trade association?

For the record, NOWtv creates video and online content for G1E Fantasy Sports. G1E Fantasy Sports offers weekly games in football, baseball, basketball, and stock car racing. More games are being developed.

Some games on G1E Fantasy Sports have a free entry fee. Other games have fees of $2, $5, $25 AND $50.

For more information on G1E Fantasy Sports or to contact a G1E member to get involved, go to www.g1e.com.

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