Advertisement

Understanding the Relation Between Social Behaviors and Daily Fantasy Sports Risk Behavior

  • Matthew A. TomEmail author
  • Pat M. Williams
  • Timothy C. Edson
  • Debi A. LaPlante
Original Paper

Abstract

In daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests, participants form a roster of athletes scheduled to perform in a pre-determined list of sporting contests or games. Each participant has the opportunity to win cash prizes, depending on the performance of the athletes on their roster and the performances of the athletes on the other participants’ rosters. Some contests have higher variances than others (i.e., lower percentages of participants winning and higher payouts versus higher percentages of participants winning and lower payouts) and can be considered riskier propositions. DFS operators have mechanisms for interacting with friends on their servers (e.g., referral programs and incentives, friend lists, private contests). To determine whether use of these mechanisms (i.e., social behavior) was associated with preference for higher variance contests (i.e., risk behavior), we analyzed player records (N = 11,130) from a DFS service. We constructed a measure of risk behavior, player risk score, that is based on DFS contests’ entry fees and payout structures. We observed that players referred to the DFS service by a friend and those who had a reciprocal friendship had similar player risk scores. However, those who referred a friend, both generally and among players with reciprocal friendships, were more likely than others to have greater player risk scores, and greater numbers of friend referrals also was associated with higher player risk scores. Although the observed effect sizes were small, the results point to a possible relationship between referring others to play and risk activity. Future research should assess how these small effects interact with other behaviors and motivations associated with DFS play, like playing to escape or playing to earn/win money. It also should examine the temporal relationships between refer-a-friend program participation and risk content choices.

Keywords

Fantasy sports Gambling Gaming Social behaviors 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors extend special thanks to Greg Karamitis, Robert McGeehan, and Jacob Sachs for responding swiftly and thoroughly to our data requests, and to Vanessa Graham, Rhiannon Wiley, John Kleschinsky, and Scarvel Harris, for providing support for this project. The authors would like to thank Pradeep Singh for his help in conducting analyses.

Author’s Contributions

All authors contributed to the concept and design of this study and the writing of this manuscript. PMW, TCE, and MAT contributed to the analyses, had full access to the data used in the study, and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. All authors have approved the final article.

Funding

DraftKings, Inc. provided primary support for this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors also receive funding from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR), The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations via NIH and Indian Health Services (IHS), the Integrated Centre on Addiction Prevention and Treatment of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, which receives funding from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Institutional Review

The authors determined that this study was not human subjects research under the federal guidelines and documented that decision with the Institutional Review Board of the Cambridge Health Alliance.

References

  1. Ballouli, K., Hutchinson, M., Cattani, K., & Reese, J. (2013). A qualitative inquiry into motivations to participate in fantasy football. International Journal of Sport Management,14(2), 211–232.Google Scholar
  2. Barbarisi, D. (2017). Dueling with kings: High stakes, killer sharks, and the get-rich promise of daily fantasy sports. New York, NY: Touchstone.Google Scholar
  3. Bauer, P., & Köhne, K. (1994). Evaluation of experiments with adaptive interim analyses. Biometrics,50(4), 1029–1041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernhard, B. J., & Eade, V. H. (2005). Gambling in a fantasy world: An exploratory study of Rotisserie baseball games. UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal,9(1), 29.Google Scholar
  5. Dwyer, B., & Kim, Y. (2011). For love or money: Developing and validating a motivational scale for fantasy football participation. Journal of Sport Management,25(1), 70–83.  https://doi.org/10.1123/jsm.25.1.70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dwyer, B., Shapiro, S. L., & Drayer, J. (2011). Segmenting motivation: An analysis of fantasy baseball motives and mediated sport consumption. Sport Marketing Quarterly,3(20), 129–137.Google Scholar
  7. Dwyer, B., Shapiro, S. L., & Drayer, J. (2018). Daily fantasy football and self-reported problem behavior in the United States. Journal of Gambling Studies,34(3), 689–707.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-017-9720-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Erskine-Shaw, M., Monk, R. L., Qureshi, A. W., & Heim, D. (2017). The influence of groups and alcohol consumption on individual risk-taking. Drug and Alcohol Dependence,179, 341–346.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.07.032.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association. (2019). Industry demographics. Retrieved November 8, 2019 from https://thefsga.org/industry-demographics/.
  10. Farquhar, L. K., & Meeds, R. (2007). Types of fantasy sports users and their motivations. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication,12(4), 1208–1228.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00370.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ferris, J., & Wynne, H. (2001). The Canadian Problem Gambling Index: Final report. Retrieved November 8, 2019 from http://www.ccgr.ca/en/projects/resources/CPGI-Final-Report-English.pdf.
  12. Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics: And sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  13. Garnefeld, I., Eggert, A., Helm, S. V., & Tax, S. S. (2013). Growing existing customers’ revenue streams through customer referral programs. Journal of Marketing,77(4), 17–32.  https://doi.org/10.1509/jm.11.0423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Juviler, J., Kleschinsky, J. H., Martin, R. J., Sewell, K., & LaPlante, D. A. (2019). Exploring themes in fantasy sports research from 1988 to 2018. Presented at the Harvard Psychiatry Research Day Poster Session, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  15. Martin, R. J., Nelson, S. E., Gallucci, A. R., & Lee, J. G. L. (2018). Daily and season-long fantasy sports participation and gambling-related problems among a sample of college students at three universities. International Gambling Studies,18(3), 395–407.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2017.1409248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mezrich, B. (2003). Bringing down the house: The inside story of six MIT students who took Vegas for millions. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  17. Nelson, S. E., Edson, T. C., Singh, P., Tom, M. A., Martin, R. J., LaPlante, D. A., et al. (2019). Patterns of daily fantasy sport play: Tackling the issues. Journal of Gambling Studies,35(1), 181–204.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-018-09817-w.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Nower, L., Caler, K. R., Pickering, D., & Blaszczynski, A. P. (2018). Daily fantasy sports players: Gambling, addiction, and mental health problems. Journal of Gambling Studies,34(3), 727–737.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-018-9744-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. O’Leary, K., & Carroll, C. (2012). The online poker sub-culture: Dialogues, interactions and networks. Journal of Gambling Studies,29(4), 613–630.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-012-9326-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Roy, D. P., & Goss, B. D. (2007). A conceptual framework of influences on fantasy sports consumption. Marketing Management Journal,17(2), 96–108.Google Scholar
  21. Tacon, R., & Vainker, S. (2017). Fantasy sport: A systematic review and new research directions. European Sport Management Quarterly,17(5), 558–589.  https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2017.1347192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Weiner, J., & Dwyer, B. (2017). A new player in the game: Examining differences in motives and consumption between traditional, hybrid, and daily fantasy sports users. Sport Marketing Quarterly,26(3), 140–152.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division on AddictionThe Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical SchoolMaldenUSA
  2. 2.Boston UniversityBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations