Link Friday: How the Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Turns Fans Into Suckers

I’m trying out something new. Since I’ve mostly stopped posting on Twitter I thought I’d try posting an interesting link each week to a long-form story that I found interesting and thought-provoking.

How the Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Turns Fans Into Suckers [NY Times Magazine] – a look at how DFS really works, written by someone who is a regular player. Most fascinating to me: how the high rollers use computer scripts, and the companies turn their heads the other way for fear of losing their business (similar to how casinos treat high rollers). From the story:

Instead, I came across a different sort of problem: a rapacious ecosystem in which high-volume gamblers, often aided by computer scripts and optimization software that allow players to submit hundreds or even thousands of lineups at a time, repeatedly take advantage of new players, who, after watching an ad, deposit some money on DraftKings and FanDuel and start betting. Both companies mostly looked the other way.

2 comments on Link Friday: How the Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Turns Fans Into Suckers

  1. Rob says:

    It’s really interesting that you’ve posted this. I know it’s not quite the same, but on Monday I was out with a friend who is doing matched gambling using scripts. In short, he finds mismatches between the odds that various bookmakers and P2P marketplaces offer. He places counteracting bets and usually has about a 5% margin, more if the bookie has some kinds of bonus he can use. He says that the market is pretty efficient, and inefficiencies only last for minutes or seconds, so it’s not the kind of thing you can do by hand very easily. Some P2P gambling marketplaces offer APIs, some don’t. Like the article says, many bookies aren’t thrilled about the practice and they don’t shout about it to newbies but neither do they put really tough measures in places to limit the actives of advantage gamblers.

    • Adam McFarland says:

      That’s really interesting Rob, thanks for sharing! It’s like automated arbitrage. Pretty brilliant. I’ve never been much of a gambler myself so I was naive to how sophisticated it’s become. I do play season-long fantasy but the daily stuff doesn’t appeal to me…and even less so now.

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