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The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

Sports betting is on the rise and fantasy sports is the main proponent

A man wearing a dress holds a sign after apparently losing at Fantasy Football. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Fantasy sports have gone from a weekend side hobby to a billion-dollar industry with millions playing every year. 

Research done by the Statista Research Department shows that, since 2003, the number of fantasy sports players in North America has increased by 311%, or 47.3 million people. Since 2015, the increase has been 5.7 million people, or a 10% increase. 

Along with the staggering number of people managing fantasy teams, money has flooded into the market via sports betting. 

In 2017, the estimated revenue generated by online sports betting was 590 million dollars.  

In 2022, it was 7.24 billion dollars. 

This 1,127% increase in revenue is closely associated with fantasy sports. 

A graph showing the revenue generated by Online Sports Betting in North America. (Statista Market Insights)

DraftKings is one of the most popular platforms for the practice. It pays out billions of dollars every year to people who bet on various games and win fantasy leagues. The site boasts millions of monthly visitors looking to hedge their bets on their favorite players. 

In this May 2, 2019, file photo, the DraftKings logo is displayed at the sports betting company headquarters in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File) (AP)

American football is one of the biggest sports for fantasy leagues. According to Sports Management Degree Hub, out of all fantasy sites, football has the most users with 40 million players annually. So, of the 62.8 million that do fantasy sports, 64% participate in fantasy football. 

“It’s another thing to look forward to every week,” said DJ Archer, an avid football fan and fantasy player. “I love watching football every week and it’s more entertaining when you’re watching it with something on the line.” 

In this Sept. 25, 2016, file photo, Chicago Bears cornerback Tracy Porter (21) defends as Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) catches a pass thrown by Dak Prescott (4). (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins, File) (AP)

Not for everyone

However, some aren’t all about the craze.

“I just want to chill and watch the games,” said Brian Badenhorst, an avid football fan with no interest in fantasy sports. “The competition and stress of fantasy doesn’t interest me.” 

“I dislike the money aspect of it and don’t like it when people get serious because they have money on the line,” he added. “I want to watch my team play without having money hanging in the balance.” 

Either way, fantasy sports has become a household term and sports betting isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.

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