Daily Fantasy Sports Leagues Not Mad for March Madness as Most Shun College Hoops

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Daily Fantasy Sports Leagues Not Mad for March Madness as Most Shun College Hoop

For the second time this year, fantasy sports leagues will be shut out of the action for a major sporting event.

Last month, none of the leagues weren't able to hold daily fantasy contests for the Super Bowl because Federal law bans fantasy play based on a single game.

This month, most fantasy sports leagues won't be holding any contests in connection with March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament, because most leagues don't get involved with any college sports.

At Nevada's legal sportsbooks, the Super Bowl is annually the most heavily wagered on sporting event of the year.

March Madness, which involves a total of 63 Division 1 college basketball games played over a period of three weeks, is the second-most heavily wagered on sporting event.

Earlier this year, several fantasy sports league operators told Gambling 911 why their leagues declined to offer contests for college sports.

"We included college football and college hoops contests in our early beta test trials last year and we found that there was far less interest in joining them, so we decided to focus on the big three--NFL, NBA and MLB--in the short term," said Ross Borden, chief executive officer of San Francisco-based ScoreStreak ( www.scorestreak.com).

"It makes sense that pro sports, which are full of individual stars, are so much more popular for fantasy sports," Borden said. "For instance, most hard-core sports fans could easily name 20 NFL quarterbacks, but might not be able to name even five or 10 college quarterbacks.

"And I think that is true for most sports fans. I personally am a huge college football and college hoops fan, but I don’t have anywhere near the same amount of knowledge about individual college players, even within my favorite conference."

Said Bill Parsons, co-founder of Maximum Fantasy Sports ( www.maximumfantasysports.com) in Chicago: "Maximum Fantasy Sports does not host college contests and I would think our reasoning is similar to many other companies. The costs are quite a bit more since there are four times as many teams and the interest is far lower...With college players turning over so much on a yearly basis, college research requirements are far greater. Add it all up and you will see a small base interested in playing college..."

Seth Young, chief operating officer of Star Fantasy Leagues ( www.starfantasyleagues.com) in Rochester, N.Y., said his company doesn't offer contests for college sports because of the costs associated with obtaining player and game stats.

Jesse Merl, owner of Major League Fantasy ( www.playmlf.com) in San Francisco, said he doesn't offer contests for college sports because his company, which started last November, is so new, but he added he plans to add college sports in the future.

Several more fantasy league spokesmen told Gambling 911 this week that their leagues will not be offering fantasy contests for March Madness either.

MIchael Santore of Los Angeles-based Draftster ( www.draftster.com) said: "We chose not to launch college basketball contests this season as we're focusing on the sports with the largest markets."

Mark Tadros of Pro Draft League ( www.prodraftleague.com), which is based in Vancouver, Canada, said: "Seeing as how we are new, we have not yet added college basketball. Next year for sure."

David Geller of New York-based Daily MVP ( www.dailymvp.com) told Gambling 911: "We will not be offering any games for March Madness and currently have no plans to offer fantasy games for college sports."

And Tony Giordano of Side League ( www.sideleague.com) in Chicago said: "We won't be having any contests for March Madness. We don't do college sports."

For those  who absolutely  have to play fantasy for March Madness, don't despair.

At least two fantasy sports leagues will be having March Madness fantasy contests.

Draft Kings ( www.draftkings.com), based in Boston and one of the largest fantasy sports leagues in the U.S., offered contests for college football this past football season and currently offers contests for college basketball.

A fantasy sports league called Swagger Stadium ( www.swaggerstadium) and based in Minnesota also offers college basketball contests.

By Tom Somach

Gambling 911 Staff Writer


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