Fantasy sports have grown increasingly popular in recent years, and several states allow betting for adults of legal age. Pennsylvania is now one of several states to have legalized and regulated fantasy sports betting for adults. On May 1 of 2018, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved Fantasy Sports Contests for Pennsylvania residents over the age of 18. Pennsylvanians may legally bet on fantasy sports through several approved operators, including Fan Duel, Draft Kings, Boom Fantasy, Fast Pick, Star Street, and the Fantasy Football Players Championship.
How Does Fantasy Sports Betting Work?
Unlike games of chance in a casino, the odds of winning in a fantasy sports bracket aren’t as astronomical. Fantasy sports revolve around their real-life counterparts, so it’s essential to track team and player progress throughout the regular season of play.
If you are unfamiliar with fantasy sports, players act as “coaches” and draft players to fictional teams from the pool of players in the real-life league. Coaches essentially bet on their picks performing well in the real-life season and accumulate points based on their wins, losses, and individual player performance. Fantasy Sports Operators like Fan Duel and Draft Kings allot coaches into tournament-style brackets with prize pools. If you buy into such a pool, you could win quite a bit of money if the players you’ve chosen for your fantasy team perform well this season.
Benefits of Fantasy Sports Betting in Pennsylvania
Many Americans argue that individuals have a right to use their own money as they see fit, and this should extend to gambling. Most states have strict laws regarding gambling and only allow the practice in certain locations or with restrictions. However, Pennsylvania lawmakers have recognized citizens’ right to gamble and the Pennsylvania casino industry now employs more than 17,000 people and generates roughly $1.4 billion in tax revenue each year. Most of this revenue goes toward property tax reductions for all Pennsylvanians.
Pennsylvania’s recent moves to allow gambling in the state are a new source of tax revenue. As of April 28, there is a 15% tax on entry fees paid for fantasy sports play in Pennsylvania. In exchange for paying this tax, players have peace of mind knowing they are playing with a licensed, legitimate operator in a fair playing environment and that each available operator meets the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s standards.
Tips for Fantasy Sports Play
If you plan to investigate fantasy sports thanks to this new law, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Primarily, set a budget for how much you are willing to risk with fantasy sports betting. Although you may be a savvy sports fan with top-choice picks for your fantasy team, an unexpected injury could leave your star player out for the season, costing you serious points in your bracket. If you bet it all on what looks like a sure thing, you could dig into a financial hole that’s difficult to escape. Take time to research your players before making any draft picks, and only bet small amounts unless you have the confidence and disposable income to withstand a big loss. Each fantasy sports operator uses different formats for play, with some only lasting on a daily basis while others continue for an entire season of regular play. Make sure you’re comfortable with the commitment before spending any money.
People with gambling problems need to recognize these problems before they have drastic consequences, and help is available through a variety of Pennsylvania resources and outreach programs. If you are unsure about whether or not a particular fantasy sports operator is legitimate, check to make sure the operator has applied for a license to operate in Pennsylvania. Additionally, carefully review the license agreement with an operator when you make a new account so you fully understand the operator’s policies.