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Research details heavy crossover between fantasy sports, wagering

New research commissioned and released by the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association has found a sizable and growing crossover among North American fantasy sports players and activity in legalized sports wagering.

The FSGA, the US-based trade group representing fantasy sports and legalized wagering companies, and longtime research partner Ipsos found that 61 per cent of its survey respondents who participate in one activity also are involved in the other.

Additionally, the FSGA-Ipsos research found that 87 per cent of fantasy sports players who also are bettors now playing more than fantasy sports than before. The research represents more evidence of what has been widely expected to be a heavy synergy between fantasy sports and sports betting as they are often appealing to the same demographics and fan groups.

The FSGA itself anticipated that synergy, and in April formally changed its name from its prior identity as the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. The shift was made to expand the group’s organizational focus in the wake of last year’s US Supreme Court ruling striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 and allowing states beyond Nevada to offer legalized sports wagering. 

The new FSGA research will be unveiled June 28 at the group’s Summer Conference in New York.

“We’ve seen significant growth across our industries over the last year and expect continued explosive growth as states legalize sports betting,” said Paul Charchian, FSGA president.

The research also found even higher amounts of sports wagering-fantasy sports overlap in New Jersey, which in May became the first US state to surpass Nevada in sports wagering handle. Sixty-eight per cent of New Jersey participants in one of the two activities also play the other.

Not surprisingly, the National Football League dominates the North American businesses for both sports betting and fantasy sports. The FSGA-Ipsos research found that fantasy football is the primary sport of choice for fantasy players with 78 per cent of fantasy players taking part of that, and 63 per cent of sports wagerers betting on NFL games.

Fantasy players for years have overindexed compared to the overall North American population in several consumer categories including apparel, dining and consumer electronics purchases, social media consumption, and mobile device usage. The latest research detailed a continuation of that trend among the combined player population with its findings including 44 per cent of fantasy players and sports bettors making a Nike purchase in the last year, compared to 17 per cent of the general population.

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