You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Daily fantasy sports are exactly as big a sham as you think.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Writing in The New York Times Magazine this week, Jay Caspian Kang goes spelunking into the bowels of daily fantasy sports subculture and finds that—surprise!—there is far less sports involved than their name would suggest.

Even as states crack down on Draft Kings and FanDuel, the two largest DFS companies, each valued at a cool billion dollars, sports fans continue to pour millions into their coffers in search of a payday. As Kang reports, those kinds of winnings are almost exclusively reserved for a minuscule percentage of the site’s user base, who rely on complex computer algorithms and scripts to game the system and take advantage of a far larger population of newcomers, gomers, and even sports-literate players like Kang who try to make the smartest moves.

And thanks to DFS occupying the gray space between gambling and so-called skill-based games, there are no regulations to dictate how DraftKings or FanDuel handles this problem. If anything, Kang says, the sites are enabling their highest earners, not impeding them.

Set aside some time during halftime tonight and read the whole article.