Are daily fantasy sports (DFSS) contests games of skill, or games of chance? That’s a multi-million, possibly multi-billion, dollar question that’s kept the DFS market spinning its wheels in a number of countries.
Fortunately, for DFS operators, a recent study by researchers at Kansas State University found that DFS is definitely a game of skill in which luck plays a very small role.
The study, which will be published in the Journal of Sports Science, entered randomly drawn teams into 35 different DFS contests. Reasoning, and statistics, suggest that if DFS was a game of chance they would win at least one of these contests. As it turns out, the researchers lost every single one of those contests.
This result bowled over lead researcher Todd Easton who pointed out how unlikely this outcome actually is saying:
It is difficult to truly comprehend the extreme rarity of losing all 35 contests. This is less likely than a single ticket winning the Powerball.
Easton went on to point out that in a game of chance, one strategy should perform as well as any other strategy.
Easton and partner researcher Sarah Newell went into the study with the idea that they could help Kansas lawmakers with the decision as to whether DFS should be classified as gambling or not. They noted that decision could have a, “massive economic and societal impact.”
The findings of Newell and Easton’s study will no doubt be used by DFS giants DraftKings and FanDuel in their efforts to avoid the gambling label in the United States and across the world. Whether the findings of this particular study are enough to accomplish that weighty goal is another question entirely.