Friday, May 8, 2015

The Hot New Form Of Fantasy Sports Is Probably Addictive, Potentially Illegal And Completely Unregulated

Eighteen months of gambling sobriety had passed before Jay saw his first television commercial for a daily fantasy sports website. With more than six years of counseling for an addiction to sports betting under his belt, he thought he was in a secure place.

“That was a long time for me,” he told ThinkProgress, looking back. “I followed the commercials on ESPN… And I saw the way they hyped it. They said that for a $2 entry fee, this guy won $1 million.”
So Jay (who asked that his real name be withheld to protect his anonymity and that his counselors be identified only by first name) created a FanDuel account, filled it with $200 and started to play. Predictably, trouble soon followed.

For the next six months, Jay compulsively toggled back and forth between FanDuel and its chief rival, DraftKings, entering into multiple daily fantasy contests every 24 hours. Eight weeks in, he was down $10,000, and the true desperation began. He made a deal with himself that he’d get out once he got back to break even, and in order to do that, he decided he needed to concentrate his efforts on long shot tournaments with the steepest buy-ins.

“I was playing in $1,000-entry-fee tournaments every day. I played them for 20 days straight.”
Once the dust had settled and Jay finally stepped back, he was poorer to the tune of $50,000.
“That’s how much I lost out of pocket; it doesn’t include what I won and gave back,” he said. “I probably gambled $150,000 total. There were days when I’d lose $3,000, and then come back the next day and win $4,000.”  READ MORE

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