Forever changing the way many people view sporting events, not to mention how we wager on them, Fantasy betting has been a huge game changer. Now available on just about every professional league on the planet, sports fans have never been more in-touch, or in-tune, with the games they love. Fantasy sports websites offer cash prizes and a virtual “Ownership” experience that players can only dream about in real life.
Daily Fantasy Sports Sites
Around for decades now, fantasy sports have exploded into a multi-billion dollar business that has attracted participation from around the planet. Wilfred ‘Bill’ Winkenbach is credited with creating Fantasy Golf (1950’s) and Fantasy Football (1962) while Liverpool F.C. supporter Bernie Donnelly invented European Fantasy Football in 1971 and then Daniel Okrent introduced Rotisserie League Baseball to North America in 1980. Largely due to the accessibility and excitement that surrounds daily fantasy sports competitions, Fantasy Hockey and Basketball have since fallen into the mix.
While yours truly has participated in season long fantasy football competitions for decades, I admit to being a little “green” when it comes to playing in the daily games offered today. However, that does not mean that we haven’t tested the waters by participating in some competitions prior to and during our research process for this comprehensive review. Our goal with this series is to deliver an unbiased, objective and accurate look at the rapidly expanding Fantasy landscape. We also examine how that market relates to the business of actual online sports betting. Our review begins with an introduction to some of the key players on what has become a very crowded Fantasy Sports scene.
Established back in 2012, and launched to capture the MLB Opening Day crowd, DraftKings was a hit from day one and they are one of the largest Fantasy Sports providers. They will become the biggest if government regulators approve their recent merger deal with the FanDuel group.
First out of the gate as Hubdub, a Scottish based news predictions site, FanDuel reached the North American marketplace in 2009 and now pay out millions of dollars in prizes every year. FanDuel continues as its own entity while its merger with DraftKings is under consideration.
Offering a solid variety of both daily and weekly fantasy sports competitions, as well as being a supplier of business-to-business white label platforms, DraftDay first appeared on the fantasy landscape with DraftKings in 2012 and their main focus is on NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA action.
|Operating under the Amaya Gaming umbrella, that includes behemoths Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker, StarsDraft is a revamped version of Victiv and was launched in 2015. This NFL focused fantasy platform is currently available in a very limited number of US jurisdictions.|
|Based in Cornelius, North Carolina, and billed as ‘play where the pros play’ due to major league endorsers like Clayton Kershaw, Drew Brees and Chris Bosh, FantasyDraft is another up and coming platform on the sports fantasy block as they first launched in December 2014.|
|While their parent company dabbles in a bit of everything, Yahoo Fantasy Sports is focused on daily contests that feature action from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, plus a mix of international soccer. Yahoo is geared more to recreational fantasy sports fans rather than the pro players.|
Fantasy vs Sports Betting
Battling a government self-serving bureaucratic legal fight, online sports, fantasy, and poker betting have been through a lot in recent times. Of the three entities, the one that has come away with a status that’s relatively undefined is Fantasy Sports. As we discussed in our sports lottery reviews, single game sports betting is still illegal in Canada. Apart from that, it is all systems go for Canadian sports lottery schemes and poker betting as long as the government is the only stakeholder. In fact many provinces now offer complete sportsbook, casino and poker room packages online. While USA laws differ from state to state, fantasy sports rules in Canada are grey at best. To the best of our knowledge, no one in the Great White North has ever been prosecuted for playing in Fantasy sports contests. The more acceptance it gains in the USA the less scrutiny it will receive in Canada.
Taking the legal side out of the discussion, there is very little separation when it comes fantasy vs sports betting options. From their wealth of availability to the vast number of contests offered, plus the skills required to be successful, the similarities are virtually endless. That also extends to websites that bettors play at and what games they wager on as well. Just as important as selecting a quality sports-betting home, the online sportsbooks listed below are highly recommended, deciding on a fantasy sports website is the first step to success. Contest participation is the second step and the options are vast. From season long traditional leagues, to weekly and daily duels, plus the price range on the various contests, players have a lot of decisions to make. We hope our reviews of the top fantasy sports websites helps guide bettors towards a profitable and enjoyable experience.