America Loves Fantasy Football

November 6, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

It’s that time of year when everyone is tracking their fantasy football team. Fantasy football is a competition designed for participants to select imaginary teams and score points based on actual NFL player’s performances during the season. Fantasy football is extremely popular during football season each year. Why has this become so popular and are there restrictions on fantasy football? Is it even legal to participate in sports gambling?

Why People Love Football

Sports is a huge passion around the world. Sports bind people together because they have a common goal of wanting their team to win. It also gives people a sense of belonging to a team and to a group of people that also love the team. People like to belong. People love the excitement of the competition and the feeling of pride when their team wins.

As people love competition, fantasy football gives them a chance to compete with others. While they are enjoying their favorite team during football season, they can place side bets through sports gambling and fantasy football. It makes them feel like they are a part of the action.

Sports gambling or betting is the act of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the result. This is illegal in most areas of North America while it’s more acceptable around the world. The difference with fantasy football and sports gambling is that fantasy football is considered a game of skill which makes it legal in most states.

Restrictions in the US on Gambling

In the United States, it’s actually illegal to operate a betting scheme. Fantasy sports have received an exemption from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act since it’s considered a game of skill. In fact, around 30 million people in the U.S. and Canada can be found playing fantasy sports each year. Fantasy football is considered legal in most states.

Fortunately for the U.S., there are websites like FanDuel that you can use to participate in a legal form of sports gambling. FanDuel is a fantasy football concept online that allows you to play single-day fantasy sports leagues for money. You just join a league, draft your players before the game starts and track your team score in real time. Once the game ends, the league winners will get cash payouts right away that can be withdrawn through PayPal. Other option for fantasy football is to use NFL.com, ESPN, Fox Sports and My Fantasy League. I signed up for a small trial run on FanDuel and let my husband take over… unfortunately we didn’t win anything. Boohoo.

Other Countries

While betting schemes are illegal in the US, they are not a criminal act in Europe, although they are regulated. It’s legal in Australia to bet on sports online, but from my experience, most Australians tend to spend a lot of time playing games on their mobiles, such as mobile pokies. As long as you are 18 or older and provide proof of identity you are allowed to place bets. While the legality of sports betting varies from country to country, it’s generally permitted outside of North America and many sites cater to gamblers in other places around the world.

While sports lovers in America struggle with restrictions on gambling laws, they can still enjoy alternatives such as fantasy football leagues.