Fantasy sports is not a new concept in any way. It was started way back in 1962 by Bill Winkenback, part-owner of the Oakland Raiders football team. The first fantasy sports teams were based on the National Football League in America. Slowly, this trickled into college football as well. Since then, fantasy sports have come a long way and developed into an entire industry.
The internet has played a huge role in this. Since 1997, fantasy sports went online. However, it was not till many years after that creating fantasy sports teams and, subsequently, betting on them came into the mainstream. Over the last decade or so, we have seen both these industries–online betting and fantasy sports– emerging next to each other and growing huge together. In 2021, the estimated value of the fantasy sports industry was USD 21.39 billion. And there are several reasons for this.
The internet boom was followed by the monumental rise of the smartphone industry. This removed the main hindrance to the growth of online betting and fantasy sports: accessibility. With more and more users connected to the internet and making digital payments, the online betting market emerged in a big way. Add to this the development of fantasy sports on a much larger scale, connecting way more people than ever before. Together, this combination ensured that fantasy sports (and betting on them) were easily accessible to anyone interested in them.
Easy to compare
Of course, with more fantasy sports teams and online betting sites come an equally large number of options to choose from. This is enough to confuse even the most experienced gamblers and sports enthusiasts. But the best part is that now many reliable websites let you compare the odds being offered on each player and each team. If you are interested in fantasy football, you can easily check the best NFL betting sites online to make an informed decision before making your selection on which players to bet on and where to place your bet.
This increased use of technology, smartphones, and the internet has accelerated the growth of sports in countries where they were previously not so popular. Thus, new markets have also opened up for both online betting and fantasy sports. Geographical restrictions are not an issue anymore because people from different parts of the world can connect over fantasy sports and enjoy the game together. Most importantly, social media plays a major role in developing a global sporting culture. There are multiple platforms available to sports fans where they can discuss the game, talk strategy, share updates, and more.
Experts and analysts will tell you that participating in fantasy sports, especially if it involves betting, works in strengthening the fanbase of the sport and teams. Fans remain fiercely loyal to the players they draft for their fantasy teams. 64% watch more live sports due to this and 61% read more about sports. That is why the relationship between online betting and fantasy sports will remain a crucial one for the wider sporting community.