Huge Growth in Online Sports Betting and Fantasy Sports

Huge Growth in Online Sports Betting and Fantasy Sports

Within the wide world of sports, there are countless smaller segments that are all part of the whole. There are cricket fanatics, horse racing fans, and stats junkies, just to name a few. While many of these segments are a fan base unto themselves, the dual environments of fantasy sports and sports betting have helped make the whole of sports more interactive for those that wish to be more involved. As the latest news coming from these two camps shows, both are going stronger than ever before and continue to be prime areas for sports expansion. 

Fantasy Sports 

Most people know fantasy sports simply as leagues of armchair quarterbacks and wannabe baseball managers that organize a team of players and earn points to determine the winner of a given season. However, fantasy sports is growing by leaps and bounds, incorporating nearly every sport imaginable and introducing the world of metrics made famous by movies like Moneyball. More akin to stock trading than sitting down to enjoy a football match, many of the top fantasy sports winners rely on sophisticated software to track the performance of players and help them with trades and deciding who to start on any given day. 


Two Online Options 

In the game of daily fantasy sports (DFS, for short), there are two behemoths that hold the lion's share of the pie - DraftKings and FanDuel. Between the two, an estimated 1.5 million people log in every day to wheel and deal their way to the top of the standings. Both offer the standard seasons of interactions between players, including trades and lineup changes, but what has really helped the fantasy sports idea explode in recent years is the introduction of DFS. 

Instead of having to pay close attention for an entire season of matches where even a small mistake like starting an injured pitcher could result in having no chance to win, DFS fans simply pick their players for a given day. This obviously shortens the time period involved and increases the ability to get lucky with a stellar performance from a lesser known player. Add in cash prizes for the best performing DFS players and there's an attraction that explains the growing hordes of DFS fanatics. 


The Expansion

Many companies are looking to the amazing growth of DFS and trying to apply the concept to other models, with the obvious case being the stock market. Fantasy sports in itself is actually similar to stock trading, so a platform that uses the DFS model seems to create a circular logic as there is already the possibility to trade stocks for real money on a daily basis. However, the DFS model takes away financial risk and has already proved to be popular with plenty of people (although not at the same levels as DFS). Of the many DFS-based stock games available, Stock Battle is the one that seems to be gaining the most traction. 


The World of Sports Betting 

Not too far away from DFS is the world of sports betting. Around as long as there were sports to bet on, the tradition of betting has always accompanied athletics. However, it wasn't until the Internet age that those interested in wagering on the outcome of sporting events had such a large environment to bet on everything from Florida Jai Alai matches to Olympic water polo matches. When the online sports betting market started to become more popular, it introduced a more expansive scope of the activity to people whose sole interaction with sports betting was limited to friendly football pools based solely on luck. Armed with the knowledge that studying and predicting the games well enough could translate to real money profits, it would only be a matter of time before online sports betting became extremely common. 

With the wide diversity of online sportsbooks that focus more on local rather than global targets, no one name has jumped out in front of the crowd to be a dominating force in the market. These online sportsbooks compete against each other by cutting their odds to even smaller margins and offering incentives for players to move to their specific platform. However, this could all be set to change as a familiar online name is preparing to take on the sports betting world. 


A New Face

For sports betting, one new face that is making some waves comes from a somewhat unexpected source. PokerStars, the global leader in online poker, recently accounted the unveiling of their own proprietary sportsbook that will soon be available to customers around the world. While PokerStars is well known for their poker endeavors, both online and live, the sportsbook represents a new direction that the company is taking. Combined with their recent introduction of online casino games, it would appear as if the company is trying to build an online platform for gamblers of all different stripes. 

Many poker players also maintain accounts at online sportsbooks as well as online casinos. What PokerStars has done with the introduction of their own sports betting portal is to combine nearly every type of betting proposition all under one roof. It is thought that instead of having to move money from website to website in order to play poker and make bets, a player will be able to have instant access to their funds regardless of the bet they want to make. Other online wagering companies have tried similar moves in the past, but none with the strong reputation and reliability as PokerStars. For this reason alone, many in the industry expect the PokerStars sportsbook to be a staggering success. 


A Combination In The Works? 

With fantasy sports and sports betting becoming more and more popular in the online world, the obvious question is when the two will eventually merge. If you're thinking they are actually two sides of a similar coin, then you're on the right track. As you may have guessed, PokerStars also has their eyes on the DFS market and plans to introduce their own DFS solution in the fall of this year. When they enter the fantasy game, you can be sure that they will come with not only an excellent product but also an existing audience that could make the easy transition from the world of poker to that of fantasy sports. 

Fantasy sports and sports betting are clearly here to stay and they are more intertwined than most people realize. With millions accessing both types of sites on a daily basis to make predictions, check betting lines and draft players, interest is growing every single day. If you're even the least bit interested in sports (and we're guessing you are because why else would you be here?), then it may be worth your time to investigate both areas if you haven't already. The attraction is clear, interaction is snowballing, and online portals are right on the cusp of transitioning into something huge. Will you be ready when fantasy sports and online sports betting hit the big time?