June 11, 2019
College life, a period in our life, where we come to know what hidden potential we have or what more we could look forward to explore, what interest in a particular field we have and so on Along with exploring for more potential, we might face some challenges that we are not aware of, some of them as listed by (Martin, Nelson and Gallucci,2016, P.568) are dealing with being away from the social controls of family, navigating a time of stressful developmental transition, and managing new kinds of peer pressure.
The other reasons might be due to the independence that they had recently acquired, without knowing adverse impacts of these unfruitful acts like alcohol consumption drug abuse, as compare to these activities one who is involved in fantasy sports is more likely to get affected by the gambling related problems (Martin et al, 2016). Moreover, they are then advised to take part in gambling. This paper examines the issues related with fantasy sports (gambling), which trait or group is most vulnerable and why, its ill effects (why college students are vulnerable) and in detail research.
In total, 41 million people were found participating in fantasy sports according to FTSA (fantasy sports trade association in 2014 and is increasing on a large scale and almost 50% of individuals paid an amount not only to get enrolled but also creating a chance for themselves to win the fees paid by other participants at end of game (Marchica and Derevensky, 2016), therefore fantasy sports is now a huge industry having an economic part of 3.6 billion. No one would have thought like how fast this will grow, as depicted in (Marchica and Derevensky, 2016) this whole thing started in New York city and from one game of baseball it soon paved it way into basketball and football. Now comes the question what really fantasy sports is, a league in which you can select your own team (college or professional players) and then set its way to compete against other fantasy teams, in order words Fantasy teams score points via the real-life statistics of the individual athletes who comprise each fantasy team during a given season; the fantasy team that compiles the most points wins (Martin et al, 2016, P.568). As described above, some of these sports involve a meagre amount of entry fees which you could win as a wholesome amount including fees of other participants but only if your team is more successful and competing than others (Martin et al, 2016). The things stated above is clearly relating to idea of gambling as in gambling also you try your luck, same as in fantasy sports by creating your own set of players and competing.
The question here is who are the most vulnerable to these fantasy sports, when students acquire independence, they tend to trap themselves in useless chores such as drug abuse, smoking and gambling. Within that sphere, they are at particular risk for participation in high-risk behaviors, there have been suggestion that gambling, and problem gambling behaviors have become an increasing concern among student-athletes”(Marchica and Derevensky, 2016, P.336). Student athletes of D1( Division 1) the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the US they are the one equipped with better facilities and a larger budget(Martin et al, 2016, P.568), the problem here is that they are not readily available to gambling researchers, the coaches hesitate to provide enough physical communication with their players, so less research is done on this side, still some studies were done that revealed 62.4 % of male D1 athletes and 42.8 % of female D1 athletes gambled in the past year (Martin et al, 2016, P.569) and noticeable fact here is that students with gambling relating problems were the one who faced other health issues like drug abuse and smoking. Numerous studies were conducted along with some studies done by institution’s that revealed that student athletes and college students had similar rates of gambling(Martin et al, 2016). Male counterparts are the one who participate in money related chores or gambling as compared to females resulting in greater experience of gambling related problems(Marchica and Derevensky, 2016) and females are considered to be more active in games like bingo and me are to be more active in games related to cards. Most athletes are associated with NCCA(National Collegiate Athletic Association), while Canadian law still has to declare fantasy sports illegal, NCCA prohibits there athletes to participate in any money related chores or they will get suspended for an entire season(Marchica and Derevensky, 2016). Research gave an overview about interconnection of gambling and fantasy sports as both are logical and strategized. It depends on the level you are, then you will be able to examine how much you will win or lose, On average fantasy sports players reportedly spend $111 dollars on B league related costs, single player challenge games, and league related material over a 12 month period( Marchica and Derevensky, 2016, P.637). An athlete is considered to spend more than double the time he spends on his actual sport but on gambling(Marchica and Derevensky, 2016), emergence of televisions and 24hrs access to channels. The time consumed and money spent ruthlessly depicts that same as gambling, fantasy sports are addictive.
A survey conducted by (Martin et al, 2016) among D1, CIR, and NA athletes in which total of 692 students participated, descriptive analysis and other demographics (age gender) etc. were assessed, their mean age was 20.4. 67 students said that they gambled 2-3 times a year 10 said they do every month, one indicated more than a week and 3 indicated daily ( Martin et al, 2016, P.572). Talking about the demographics age and gender were considered important but ethnicity was not. Males were more attracted towards gambling than females, in total 126 participants participated in gambling last year. CIR athletes were the most probable participants in fantasy sports. Less participation was recorded among students that might a limitation as described by (Martin et al, 2016) or other case would be that they just assessed students on one question.
Another survey was done by (Marchica and Derevensky, 2016), this was mixture of surveys from 2004, 2008 and 2012 NCCA, to access gambling among college students. One of three athletic teams were to be assessed, Data was extensively reviewed through a series of validity checks and Item Response Theory (IRT)techniques, in order to identify possible irregular patterns of responses. Cases that had strong evidence of insincere response patterns were excluded (Marchica and Derevensky, 2016, P.639). As there have been some changes as compared to techniques used in 2004-2012, enough and appropriate steps are taken to comply with. One of 22 sports (11 men, 11 women), (Divison1,2, 3) all teams were included, they used (Gambling Activities Questionnaire), Diagnostic Statistical Manual (Marchica and Derevensky, 2016). In comparison to 2004, there was overall decrease in gambling but at the same time increase in fantasy sports among college students (Marchica and Derevensky, 2016, P, again male participation was higher than female participation, nearly 6-7 times all three surveys (2004, 2008, 2012). Results indicated that compared to other student-athletes, male baseball (40.6 %), football (37.2 %), and ice hockey players (43.2 %) participated most often in their own fantasy sports leagues than any other optioned sports league (Marchica and Derevensky, 2016, P.641). There were limitations in this survey as it was a self-questionnaire, no one could determine the one who took this test, what his/her intentions were.
The third survey was carried out by (Martin and Nelson, 2014, P.1379) which depicted that 11.5% of the respondents indicated that they participated in fantasy sports in the past year. Of those, 43.5% played for money. Among all the participants again male actively participated than females. Professional football was the most popular among other games relating to gambling. They (Martin and Nelson, 2014) came up with the direct relation between fantasy sports and gambling related problems.
Now coming to the root cause of this problem, as discussed by (Cassidy, Loussouarn, Pisac, 2013, P.10) Gambling is also increasingly used as a source of revenue by states with retracting economies. this clearly states that the government gets benefit from these gambling fantasy sports practices thats why they dont take appropriate steps to overcome this problem. Somewhat to get out of crisis gambling is considered an important resource for a country, as it is growing at an unprecedented pace, its relationship with countries economy is getting more important, Back in 90s it was just considered a mode of entertainment as friends gathered together and just played it for fun, but now its a huge business. These all things give an indirect benefit to channels as people who dont want to watch still watch as they have invested their money. The book qualitative research in gambling, though its long and hard to read, but when you are done with the readings, you will come to know why people choose gambling as a source of money, the answer that book clearly depicts is lack of an effective substitute. Gambling regulation allowed both stockbrokers a customer to take more risks for potentially more reward (Cassidy, Loussouarn, Pisac, 2013, P.241). An example of coral index is enough to justify words about gambling and college students (Cassidy, Loussouarn, Pisac, 2013. As being students, they also want to apply shortcuts and be successful in short period of time, it might be through either fantasy sports or specific gambling.
Concluding here, it is crystal clear from the above conversation that fantasy sports(gambling) among students specifically athletes is rising at an unprecedented level specifically among division one athletes. Some serious health impacts developed as a reason of extensive sports such as backache, mental illness, moreover higher suicidal rated are among gamblers more than 27% as reported by (Kflaph.ca, 2019). Another Ontario study found adjusted odds ratios of 6.51 for gambling problems and substance abuse and 3.88 for gambling problems and alcohol dependence (Kflaph.ca, 2019). It’s important to know what is harming our future generations. There should be certain awareness and educational programs in college campuses that should be practiced saving our future from getting in wrong direction, attention should be payed to advanced and popular sources of gambling. (new companies that are trying to misguide students more towards fantasy sports through advertisements, meet and greet with athletes).
Martin, R. J., & Nelson, S. (2014). Fantasy sports, real money: Exploration of the relationship between fantasy sports participation and gambling-related problems. Addictive Behaviors, 39(10), 13771382.
Martin, R. J., Nelson, S. E., & Gallucci, A. R. (2016). Game On: Past Year Gambling, Gambling-Related Problems, and Fantasy Sports Gambling Among College Athletes and Non-athletes. Journal of Gambling Studies, 32(2), 567579.
Marchica, L., & Derevensky, J. (2016). Fantasy Sports: A Growing Concern Among College Student-Athletes. International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, 14(5), 635645.
Cassidy, R., Loussouarn, C., & Pisac, A. (2013). Qualitative Research in Gambling. Taylor & Francis.
Kflaph.ca. (2019). Health Impacts of Gambling. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Jun. 2019].