Fantasy wagering helps fuel legal betting
October 24, 2015 8:51 AM
by Phil Hevener
Fascination with fantasy sports wagering has helped drive the level of action at Nevada’s legal sports books to record levels, according to a new analysis by the American Gaming Association.
The amount wagered at Nevada’s books has increased by nearly 15 percent compared with figures from 2014, “even as the popularity of daily fantasy sports has exploded during recent months,” the AGA report said.
In fact, since the two biggest daily fantasy sports companies were founded –FanDuel in 2009 and DraftKings in 2012 – the amount of money wagered in Nevada has increased every year.
“The demand for sports betting has never been greater,” AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman said. “Fantasy sports may be serving as a catalyst for sports betting growth, helping the industry to attract new customers. We’re optimistic our industries can achieve symbiotic growth as the sports community establishes greater consumer protections.
The bad news, Freeman seemed to suggest, is that the fascinations of sports fans with wagering opportunities has also benefitted illegal gambling nationwide, because, quite simply, if it is not legal it is illegal, which means no taxes are being collected and the opportunities for scandals of one kind or another increase.
The AGA estimates that Americans will spend well over $ 100 billion on illegal sports betting this year alone, even as Nevada’s legal wagering opportunities, continuing talk of its legalization beyond Nevada and the booming interest in fantasy wagering fuel continuing growth.
Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: PhilHevener@GamingToday.com.