Study: Should DFS Be Treated As Gambling in state Legislation post PASPA?

Published July 9, 2019 by Lee R

Study: Should DFS Be Treated As Gambling in state Legislation post PASPA?

Though legal before PASPA, new studies identifying DFS vulnerabilities increase player safety in the US.

Behind the massive excitement after sports betting's entry into the US, the addictiveness of DFS is undergoing increased scrutiny.

New Studies Suggests Addiction

Associate director for research at Harvard Medical School division of addiction Sarah Nelson revealed findings on addiction in DFS as one of four presenters at the International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking at Caesars Palace.


Nelson's study indicates that out of a study group of 12,041 daily fantasy players selected from Aug. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2014, 10,385 players DraftKings patrons participated in one NFL contest with winnings up for grabs—with 71% of those players male.

The Money Factor

The correlation between gambling and daily fantasy sports provided context for consideration of the transferrent effect of addiction where money is involved.

Clinical Stressors

Nelson called the stressors of “rapid cycling nature and increased accessibility” vulnerabilities which make sports betting per se more addictive than season long fantasy leagues where the winnings are collected only at the end of the entire season, and are not single match dependent.

Second Supporting Study

A second presenter, East Carolina associate professor Ryan Martin, conducted a study entitled “Examining Gambling-related Problems and Participation-related Motivations among a Sample of Daily Fantasy Sports Players” concluding that players “who participated in fantasy sports were more likely to have gambling-related problems.”

States' DFS Conundrum

Some states are concerned about DFS as addictive, and are reluctant to legislate it. At this point, 19 states have passed DFS legislation while 19 others have shut it down.

State Case Sample

The challenges at the state level were illustrated in Louisiana last week, when lawmakers were unable to come up a regulation model that would allow fantasy sports to move forward before the legislative session ended Thursday.

Even with voters approving fantasy sports in the state, DFS could be up to two years away: that's because in Louisiana state law is bundling DFS with legalizing sports betting, in a jurisdiction whose 47 local parishes have already voted for DFS.


It appears that in the post-PASPA era, public debate in the US should move from whether DFS constitutes gambling to whether DFS fuels addiction before effective voting can take place across all states.

Yes! I want to know about exclusive bonuses, promotions, and news.