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Fantasy baseball: A new way to gamble or just another game?

Stephen M. Weiss, Robert M. Demski, George J. Backen


The controversy over whether fantasy sports should be considered a new form of gambling was investigated. The predominance rule was used to operationally define gambling. This rule states that an activity is gambling if outcomes are due more to chance than to skill. Individuals active in a fantasy baseball league (commonly referred to as "owners") and individuals who had never entered any type of fantasy league ("non-owners") participated. Perceptions of skill-to-chance ratios were assessed and a content analysis of the specific skill and chance features involved in fantasy baseball was conducted. The results showed that fantasy baseball owners and non-owners judged outcomes to be more the result of skill. In an attempt to determine whether these results were supported by actual outcomes, a second study analyzed the records of a fantasy baseball league over an extended period. The findings of this additional study also suggest that skill may predominant over chance.


fantasy sports; sports gambling; predominance rule; rotisserie

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