For example, exactly how is daily fantasy play more risky than season long fantasy gambling or a friendly wager between two Governors betting on the outcome of an NFL playoff game; (3) Does playing specific sports games — basketball, football, golf — represent specific risks; (4) What is the incidence and prevalence of mental and physical disorders related to fantasy sports play; (5) Do fantasy sports participants need and seek health care related to their play; (6) for those who do need help, what is the best kind of assistance — mental health care, gambling treatment specifically, self-help, etc.; and (7) What are the potential benefits of fantasy sports play. David Courtwright, in his recent and important article in the New England Journal of Medicine, points out quite persuasively that our federal efforts to prevent and treat narcotic addiction and increase abstinence actually has created an inadvertent higher level of addiction and worse, opioid overdoses. For example, “daily” fantasy sports is a misnomer. For example, psychoactive drug use is associated with addiction more than consuming spinach.

Morris E. Regulatory or legislative solutions promulgated during hysteria can make matters worse. Although many expected it, there is little evidence that online gambling creates more negative consequences than land-based gambling; there is no systematic scientific evidence, for example, that Internet gambling is associated with a higher prevalence of addiction compared to land-based casinos.

Absent scientific evidence, all kinds of conceptual problems can emerge including confusing language. Shaffer, Ph.D. As interest in fantasy sports grows — and daily fantasy sports in particular — stakeholders are asking two fundamental questions: (1) Is fantasy sports play a form of gambling or, as the industry purports, a skill-based game?; and (2) Does fantasy sports play present a distinct danger to the public health and welfare?

Because there is almost no research available to describe the social, economic, health and other consequences associated with fantasy sports, whether seasonal or accelerated, the first step is to construct research to investigate the pattern, practices and psychology associated with fantasy sports. For example, consider the following questions: (1) Where on the gambling-skill continuum does fantasy sports play reside; (2) Does fantasy sports play represent a distinct danger to the public health and welfare. The American Psychiatric Association has called for more research focusing on Internet gaming to clarify these constructs and their characteristics.

There is a furious debate in the courts, and among regulators and elected officials, about fantasy sports and the experiences of those who play it.

Can fantasy sports play become the object of addiction? Yes, any activity can, though some are more likely than others. Now is the time for us to invest in scientific evidence instead of speculation; now is the time for research. It is fundamental for us to establish the concepts and constructs that describe fantasy sports and how these games are played. But arbitrarily extending the characteristics of substance use disorder to gambling, gaming or another expression of addiction is a tricky issue that needs to be guided by scientific research. Anything less and we are gambling with the public health.. Fantasy sports play appears to be one situation that we are willing to chance making worse.

There is little to no scientific and scholarly evidence about the nature of fantasy sports and those who play these games. After all, there is no situation that we cannot make worse. The advent of new computer technology, with is inherent capacity for statistical calculations, have stimulated the dramatic growth of the fantasy sports industry. Activities that shift subjective experience in a subjectively desirable direction tend to reliably be associated with addiction. Chafetz Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Behavioral Sciences, Harvard Medical School & Director of Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance

For example, Dr. There is simply insufficient empirical research available to describe the population of players, who might be at increased or decreased risk for developing addiction, and the extent of crossover between gambling and gaming. With the advent of the Internet, off-track betting storefronts evolved into online off-track gaming sites. So, first and foremost, before judicial and legislative and regulatory action is taken, it will behoove our policymakers to employ science as a guide. Instead of “daily,” perhaps a more accurate moniker would be “accelerated” fantasy sports. Without scientific evidence, anecdotal testimony from people who have lost their rent money or tuition or driven their families into bankruptcy have shaped the conventional wisdom – that fantasy sports is bad, “addictive” and potentially life threatening. Public policy makers who ignore science and history risk traveling a reckless and misguided path. Prescriptive measures done arbitrarily, without scientific evidence, can lead to unintended and more serious negative consequences than the problem that we originally tried to solve. With some exceptions, such as betting on the live action within a game, most daily fantasy sports play requires more than a day to complete. Emerson

Associate-Public Policy, Division on Addiction, & Chairman of College Task Force on College Gambling and Alcohol Policy

There is little doubt that gambling and gaming are among the many potential objects of addiction. At the moment, research is necessary to determine whether the timing of fantasy sports play – daily, multiple days, seasonal — influences the psychological features often associated with gambling and other disorders (e.g., impulsivity).

The first question is important because the law distinguishes gambling and games of chance from games of skill. Similarly, decades ago, betting parlors were backstreet places where there were additional dangerous conditions. We need to identify the determinants of excessive play patterns. It might seem picky and parsing to argue the definitional differences between gaming and gambling, or whether fantasy sports play is a gambling or skill-based activity. Many more questions will emerge as we begin to gather evidence.

The second question is critical for obvious reasons; in particular, most contemporary challenges to fantasy sports play, and gambling in general, rest on a foundation of claims about public health risks and hazards.

Howard J. Current claims about Fantasy Sports play are premature – for critics and supporters alike. Research is necessary to clarify the distinctions between play patterns, player types, passion, and addiction. However, the law is based upon this difference. Then, realizing the potential revenue from legalized gambling, states produced off-track betting storefronts that looked much like convenience stores or supermarkets. Different courts have issued contradictory judgments based upon different interpretations of these definitions

Scientific evidence often is missing from public policy decisions. When does a pound of anecdote yield an ounce of proof?

Peter V