What Is The Difference Between Fantasy Sports And Sports Betting?

Sports betting has been a source of entertainment and good times with friends, family and online communities for centuries. On the other hand, fantasy sport is a modern concept that came into the spotlight in the early 2010s and has gained massive popularity.

With these two, it’s a great time to be a sports fan, especially if you like to add a little money to the game. More and more legal sportsbooks join the United Kingdom market every day. According to Statista, as of 2019, there were 8,320 betting shops in Great Britain. Sports betting is flourishing, and if you’re already participating in fantasy sports, you can attest to its popularity.

You’ve probably seen several web and television adverts for sports betting and fantasy sports operators offering bonuses and promotions if you sign up with them. But before picking either of them, you’d want to take note of the following differences:

  1. Who you’re gambling against

The most significant difference between sports betting and fantasy sports is who you’re playing against. With fantasy sports, you compete with people at different skill levels. The owner of the site earns money through commissions and being a middleman. However, for sports betting, you play against bookmakers who want to make a profit from your losses. 

Sports betting is relatively complicated compared to fantasy sports. With betting, bookies have almost infinite data access that they can use to make predictions and beat you. You must spend time getting the correct data to compete equally. This is tedious and could easily take the fun out of the game. 

But with fantasy sports, you only need to ensure you have the edge over the player you’re up against. Although it may seem easy, don’t drop your guard and think you’re the best; the player could be more refined than you. Be rigorous as you pick the matchup as you’ll be when placing the bets.   

  1. Profit potential

Overall, sports betting has lower commissions. The bookmakers take a 10% cut from any bet you make and win, but if you lose, there’s no cash back. They have fixed odds before you make your bet and you need to understand the math behind betting odds before placing the bet. However, the odds of winning it big are deceptive for fantasy sports. Those who succeed are always in the big-league tournaments, have researched and are skilled.  

All over the world, your sports betting payout is more and better in a single day than fantasy sports fans.

  1.  Abilities you need

As of January 2022, the UK digital population was 67 million, including those who use the internet for sports viewing, immersive experiences and entertainment. The internet has increased the edge you have on sports around the world. Gambling sites have taken advantage of this, and you can now bet on various aspects. Based on the sport, say you’re betting on football, there are hundreds of options you can bet on, like several goals, red cards and yellow cards. This requires extensive research and predictive decisions to be able to win. You must check various statistics to make a prediction and bet on it.

On the other hand, fantasy sports are more inclined to your skills. These are online prediction games where you create your virtual team based on real-life sports players. You get points that you can convert to fantasy points based on real-world statistics. To win, for example, in a premier league fantasy football, you need skills and knowledge in managing your roster by trading, adding, selling and removing your players. 

  1. Category 

When playing fantasy sports, an essential principle is always to ensure you have an advantage over your competitor, which makes it not categorized as gambling. However, sports betting is classified as gambling because as you play, you meticulously try to win money by predicting the outcomes of an event. 

  1.  Sports options

When gambling, you have a more comprehensive range of wager and sports types to select from. Typically, with a sports betting site, you can access two or three dozen sports in their coverage. Similarly, the wagers are many. However, fantasy sports sites cover two or three sports in the market. 

Although you focus on one or two sports for both, you still have several choices within sports betting than fantasy sports. 

  1. Legality 

Fantasy sports are virtually legal everywhere, but betting has fewer options worldwide. However, gambling in the UK  is now being reviewed after the 2005 Gambling act of the Blair era, which was of the idea that gambling was a mainstream leisure activity. With your kids’ access to mobile phones, the government is now checking the gambling saturation points in the country.

Depending on where you’re accessing fantasy sports or betting, be careful not to go against the laws there. You don’t need to worry about fantasy games in the UK; they’re a game of skill and hence very legal.

  1. Competitors 

When playing fantasy sports, you only play against people with mixed abilities. Some are full-time professionals, and most are regular players trying to get a quick cash injection. With easy competition, you have an edge and can easily earn profit even after the site collects its commission.

However, with sports betting, you compete with only one competition. The tricky part is that this competitor is a high-quality book marker with tons of experience over the years, guaranteeing them profits. Your chances are slim with the sports betting sites, and you need tips and previews on games to level up.


Sports betting and fantasy sports are now a significant part of your gaming community. It has become a bridge to various worlds, with you listening to podcasts, pundits and even weather forecasts to make the right decision for a game coming up. While the two are different, they can coexist as separate entities of an ecosystem and allow you to test your knowledge and skills while adding some thrill to watching your favourite sport. However, betting can be addictive, and you need to take caution and only engage in it as a pastime.