Fantasy Football

What Is a Fantasy Football Addiction?

While fantasy football used to mean getting together with your buddies, putting in $10 each and selecting your "team" for the season, today's definition is quite different—and unfortunately it can result in a gambling addiction. Websites like fanduel.com and draftkings.com provide daily sports betting opportunities and utilize seemingly endless amounts of advertising dollars targeted at young men.

According to a November 2015 article in The New York Times, the fantasy sports market is a growing one, but it isn't marketed as gambling, even though people pay money to select team members with the opportunity to win monetary prizes. One of the major concerns is that online fantasy football games are marketed as a game of skill, which can falsely lead people to believe they aren't gambling or that if they lose one week, maybe they'll have a better chance next week.

Just as a person can become addicted to gambling in person at a roulette wheel or craps table, a person can also become addicted to online sports betting.

How Can You Tell If You're Experiencing a Fantasy Football Addiction?

Addiction to fantasy football occurs when a person loses control over his impulses to gamble and place bets. This can have serious repercussions on a man's life.

Some of the signs you or a loved one may be addicted to fantasy football include:

  • All you can seemingly think about is fantasy football or checking on your team.
  • Continuing to bet even if you know the odds are against you.
  • You continue placing bets and picking teams, even when you know the odds are against you.
  • Your relationships with others have been affected due to gambling.
  • You are experiencing significant financial difficulties due to your gambling.
  • You spend more and more time on fantasy football betting.
  • You feel the need to be secretive about your gambling, such as how much you gamble or how much you visit fantasy football sites.
  • Your friends and/or family have expressed concern about your fantasy sports betting.

Unfortunately, fantasy sports addiction can also be a secondary addiction, or one you engage in when you were initially addicted to something else. For example, you may find that you only bet when drinking or under the influence of drugs. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, having a history of substance abuse or current substance abuse increases the risk for gambling problems. Having this secondary addiction can make overcoming your primary addiction to a substance even more difficult to overcome without professional help.

How Can You Overcome a Fantasy Football Addiction?

If you suspect you or a loved one is experiencing an addiction to fantasy football, reach out to others for support. The best thing to do if you have difficulty controlling your gambling cravings is to shut down your fantasy football accounts. You may also choose to have someone help you manage your money until you can learn how to resist the urge to gamble.

Help is out there if you experience an addiction to fantasy football or other sports betting.

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