It’s Not (Just) A Game: Fantasy Sports Are Taking Over

Courtesy: Betting Sites (

Getting an email out of the blue from a British fantasy sports nerd was one of the best updates Across The Culture received in 2017. Knowing the folks at Betting Sites thought ATC would be a great platform to spread their remarkable research was beyond flattering. And finally, after a bit of coordination, I’m excited to introduce the work of the Betting Sites team!

Let Josh Wardini pull you into the secretly enormous world of fantasy sports. This industry is no joke, and it will continue to significantly affect both the sports industry and culture for years to come.


Fantasy sports are a billion dollar industry, and have turned into a huge, yet not fully understood phenomenon where participants all over the world create virtual teams with actual players from among their favourite sports. Today, there are serious competitions with fantasy sports leagues offering huge cash prizes to be won.

Surprisingly for many who are familiar solely with the digital version of fantasy leagues, it all began in the 1950s when the first fantasy sports came about. It began as a game for picking players and then running a contest based on their performances across tournaments. It spread throughout other popular sports – such as football and baseball – and in the 1980s it was modernized.

With the internet boom in the 1990s and early 2000s, fantasy sports took off like never before. Today, more than 59 million people are playing fantasy sports in Canada and the USA alone.

But, what exactly are they?

The first question many people will ask is whether or not fantasy sports are similar to betting. Yes, in many ways, fantasy sports is similar to betting because chance plays a big role. However, legislators and lobbyists argue that fantasy sports require more skill than luck because they involve a huge amount of research and strategy.

The 32 million Americans who participate in fantasy sports annually spend a total of $15 billion per year and, given that total prize money can exceed $2 billion, it is really no surprise that people are beginning to get properly involved in fantasy sports. As a matter of fact, 80 percent of players interviewed said they planned on playing fantasy sports for the next ten years, whereas 44 percent say they plan on playing professionally for the rest of their lives.

Betting Sites has accrued statistical data which supports the statement that fantasy sports are a huge global cultural phenomenon with growing popularity. At the very least, fantasy sports allow fans a greater way to feel like they really are part of the game.

Fantasy sports are ideal for sports fans who want to add a little excitement of their own to their favourite games being played around the world. Although it is fantasy football which is by far the most popular fantasy sport, fantasy leagues exist among fans in racing, basketball and many other sports.

It is now a massive industry which is worth billions and does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. In fact, fantasy sports has had a resonating effect on the sporting industry as a whole, and interest in sports has risen with interest in fantasy sports.

For more unbelievable facts on the world of fantasy sports, check out the full version of this infographic here!


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