How Fantasy Sports Became a Billion-Dollar Industry

Fantasy sports have probably been around for much longer than most people realise. Even back in the 1960s, fans of various sports used pen and paper to predict drafts in the NFL. In the UK, soccer predictions, then known as the pools, have been around since 1923 when Littlewoods began selling them outside of Old Trafford, the home ground of Manchester United. Many people will remember their grandparents getting a knock on the door to collect the pool money, and fantasy sports have grown from this small beginning into a $1 billion industry.

Technology Evolved

One of the primary reasons for the fantasy sports explosion is, of course, the evolution of technology. Now you can win real money online from the comfort of your sofa, playing your favourite fantasy sports. In the early 1980s, USA Today began publishing detailed statistics about baseball teams. This was another example of how fantasy sports came to be. It’s quite simple to take part in. All you need to do is create your fantasy team of existing real-life players and then chart the performance based on the statistics from the games that take place. So, while your team may be made up of players from seven or eight other real-life teams, you get the chance to bring them all together in your fantasy to see if you have what it takes to create a winning side.

More Popular Than You Might Think

Statistics show that over 26 million people in the US participate in a form of fantasy sports. This has led to an industry that generates over 1 billion each year, according to the fantasy sports trade Association, which is based in the USA. On average, a player with a fantasy sports hobby regularly spends more than $500 each year. Even with an economy that is on a downturn, the amounts are actually growing rather than shrinking. Experts predict it is even possible that fantasy sports will overtake real sports in the amount of revenue they generate. Fantasy football or soccer is the biggest fantasy sport in the UK but has had a smaller foray into the US; however, this, too, is changing. There are still some distinct differences between fantasy sports in the US versus Europe. Generally, in Europe, it is free to play, and its popularity is soaring thanks to the in-depth analysis that is on offer by sports broadcasters.

Fantasy Football Could be the Next Big Thing in the US

Live soccer is increasingly streamed in the US; from what was only the FA Cup final, the choice for fans is now vast. It has led to an increased interest in the game, and fans are beginning to look for the statistics they need to make informed decisions in fantasy football. Overall, the game of fantasy football has around 2 million managers living out their fantasies in 200 different locations around the world. The official game was designed by ISM games for the English Premier League and was initially started in 2002 and has seen year-on-year growth.