Fantasy Sports is a booming industry that is experiencing exponential growth with upwards of 40 million players in North America. In a Fantasy Sports league, participants use statistics and other information available for actual players in professional sports to draft players to form “fantasy” teams. Research has shown that both gambling and fantasy games share some similar characteristics. Like other forms of gambling, fantasy sports often result in possible monetary loss or gain. There are entry fees, as well as, fees for trades and acquisitions. The average Fantasy Sports player spends upwards of $400 per year on this pastime. While many individuals view fantasy sports leagues as social forms of entertainment, a new industry with few regulatory guidelines has emerged. With the unprecedented growth of this new sports industry, it is important for researchers, clinicians and legislators to closely monitor new developments.
March madness will soon grip the sports betting world. The annual National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournaments involve some 67 games allowing bettors ample wagering opportunities. According to a 2014 report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an estimated 50 million Americans wager in office pools. Furthermore, according to a 2014 story in the Dallas Morning news, $324 million was the amount wagered on collegiate and professional basketball last March at Nevada sports books with an estimated 70% of these bets occurring on March Madness games. In terms of wagering activity, March Madness is second only to the Super Bowl. In past years, even Barak Obama, has publicly aired his March Madness picks on ESPN. Sports betting is ingrained and widely accepted in the American culture. Let’s keep the fun in the games and enjoy these great sporting events.
Participation in sports-related fantasy games, enabling individuals to pick or draft professional or collegiate athletes onto their teams, has become increasingly popular. In fantasy sports, a league is usually comprised of roughly a dozen participants who use statistics from actual sporting events to compete against one another. The participants function as virtual managers of their respective “fantasy teams”, drafting players to form “teams”. Research has shown both gambling and fantasy games share some similar major characteristics. Like other forms of gambling, fantasy sports often result in possible monetary loss or gain. Fantasy sports players spend a great deal of time watching sports (upwards of 18 hours per week) and spend considerable time “managing” their teams. To read more about fantasy sports and college student athletes, refer to Loredana Marchica’s article in our Fall newsletter.
The annual Holiday Lottery Campaign is here! 2014 marks the seventh year that the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and the NCPG have partnered with lottery organizations in North America and around the world to share the message that lottery tickets should not be purchased as holiday gifts for children. This widely endorsed corporate social responsibility campaign is endorsed by NASPL and participation is free. We welcome lottery organizations who wish to partner with us in this educational initiative to join the Holiday Lottery Campaign and build positive media through responsible gaming messages. Campaign support from North American and international lotteries has grown tremendously and the momentum is strong. We look forward to 2014 being our best collaborative campaign ever!
There is strong evidence suggesting that 70-80 per cent of adolescents have gambled for money in the past year, with approximately 30 per cent doing so on a weekly basis.
This year marks the sixth year that the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling have partnered with dozens of lottery corporations around the globe to increase public awareness about the impact of giving lottery products as gifts to minors.
“We know that one significant risk factor for problem gambling is early age of onset of gambling behavior and many problem gamblers report beginning gambling during childhood – around the ages of nine or ten,” explained Keith Whyte, Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling. “A recent study revealed that youngsters who received instant lottery tickets as a gift tended to develop more dangerous gambling patterns. We encourage adults to reduce risk factors in their childrens’ lives by keeping a person’s age in mind when purchasing lottery tickets.”
“We know that playing the lottery at a young age is inappropriate and can increase the potential for problem gambling later in life,” said Jeffrey Derevensky, co-director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGillUniversity. “We welcome the collaborative efforts of lottery corporations worldwide to help raise awareness about this issue, as together we can make a difference in preventing underage gambling and gambling problems.”
This year the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) Board of Directors, and ultimately the entire membership, unanimously approved a resolution encouraging participation in the Holiday Campaign. Whyte stated, “the unanimous endorsement of the campaign by NASPL is a significant step that sends a strong signal across the entire gaming industry. We believe responsible gaming is a positive approach to minimizing gambling-related harm and therefore maximizing public benefit. We are proud to work with NASPL and look forward to additional partnership opportunities.”
The organizers thank the Kentucky Lottery Corporation for providing graphic design services for the campaign this year. Participating lotteries to date this year include:
AB Svenska Spel (Sweden), Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, Atlantic Lottery, Arizona Lottery, Austrian Lotteries, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, California Lottery, Camelot (United Kingdom) , Connecticut Lottery Corporation, Hrvatska Lutrija d.o.o. (Croatia), Illinois Lottery, Iowa Lottery, Kentucky Lottery Corporation, La Française des Jeux (France), Loto-Québec, Manitoba Lotteries, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, Massachusetts State Lottery, Minnesota State Lottery, Missouri Lottery, Montana Lottery, New Mexico Lottery, North Carolina Education Lottery, Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation, Ohio Lottery Commission, Oklahoma Lottery Commission, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Oregon Lottery, Pennsylvania Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, Saskatchewan Lotteries, State Lottery of Serbia, South Dakota Lottery, Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, Texas Lottery, Vermont Lottery Commission, Virginia Lottery, Washington’s Lottery
If you give a lottery product as a gift please make sure you keep the person’s age in mind.
For more information contact:
- Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky, Co-Director, International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors, McGill University, www.youthgambling.com. (514) 398-4249, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jocelyn Wilcox, Program Administrator, National Council on Problem Gambling, www.ncpgambling.org/holiday, (202) 547-9204 ext 24 or email@example.com
Centre team members toured the floor of the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, Nevada last week. The G2E, the largest trade show and conference event for the gaming industry, features the latest offerings from companies in all sectors of the gaming industry including games, gaming machines, services and even non-gaming amenities such as food, beverages and entertainment. With over 455 companies represented and 17,000 delegates registered, the exposition floor was buzzing. Trends in the slot machine sector included nostalgic games from adults’ youth such as Connect Four, Monopoly, Yahtzee and Clue and a profusion of games incorporating child-like themes including Peter Pan and Batman. Additionally, social media brand recognition was brought into the slot machine realm with games such as Bejeweled. Another new and growing trend seems to lie in interactive slot machines. These machines incorporate touch screen capability along with the standard push button/one arm pull mechanisms. These new machines enable players to interact with the games in a familiar way, adding a new dimension to the playing experience.
The gaming industry and in particular land-based casino operators want to provide a complete entertainment package for their players including the latest in machine games, spectacular facilities and abundant dining and shopping options. Gaming is big business and operational efficiency is paramount. To this end, metrics software programs for slot machines have been developed that are used to track the financial viability of machines on the casino floor and enable casino operators to assess machine profitability at very exacting levels. Our team viewed the latest offerings of these applications.
Gaming generates incredible revenues and is portrayed as a very glamorous industry with a no shortage of new toys for grownups!
Congratulations to Dr. Derevensky on receiving the 2013 NCRG Scientific Achievement Award in September at the 14th annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction in Las Vegas, Nevada. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding contributions to the study of gambling disorders. The award was presented to Dr. Derevensky by Mr. Alan Feldman, chairman of the NCRG and Executive Vice President of Global Government and Industry Affairs at MGM Resorts International.