According to World Casino News, the growth of fantasy sports has even caught the eyes of US casinos. In this year’s Global Gaming Expo (the industry’s biggest trade show that began last week in Las Vegas) all the hype about fantasy sports.
It’s no surprise with July investments totaling $575 (raised by rivals and industry leaders from 21st Century Fox, KKR & Co. and Major League Baseball) in an effort to attract players to their daily fantasy games that pay out millions in cash prizes.
It is predicted that by 2020 customer spending may reach $17.7 billion, up from the present estimated $3.7 billion, on the fantasy sports industry where fans join leagues comprised of individual teams with real player rosters and compete in daily competitions for real cash.
The industry and casino owners are agitated by federal and local restrictions that prevent them from offering sports betting and online gambling. The casino’s core business of blackjack and slot machines are experiencing less than usual growth and owners are struggling to expand into new areas. Meanwhile, sports companies like FanDuel and DraftKings that are unregulated, are free to advertise on TV networks, so the argument goes.
Casino executives complain that, while the sports leagues like Major League Baseball and the National Football League say they object to traditional sports betting, they take the cake when it comes to fantasy sports.
NFL.com offers fantasy leagues and various related contests on its site, but it’s free to enter. Currently, the league does not allow its broadcast partners from running casino ads during games. Last year four pro leagues (including the NFL and the NCAA) succeeded in suing New Jersey in order to prevent the state from legalizing sports betting.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Wilmot (Penn National Gaming Inc.) said, “The NFL is being exposed as hypocritical,” and “Lawmakers are starting to look at this and say, why is this different?”