On the outside, the daily fantasy sports market looks like it’s starting to thrive and bustle. Lots of new places to play, attractive promotions, and high stakes fantasy leagues with thousands of dollars in real money prizes are being offered to players every day.
It looks like the daily fantasy sports market is starting to thrive, but looks can be deceiving.
Daily fantasy sports sites pop up with enough regularity to have Orville Redenbacher roll over in his grave. Every day, a new site is ready to open its would-be glorious doors for all of you daily fantasy junkies to come running with your deposits in hand like they were Willy Wonka’s Golden Tickets.
There’s also a number of affiliate sites that will jump on board with ANY new daily fantasy site that manifests overnight, hailing them as partners or sponsors. How can you be partners with someone you’ve just met? Sounds like a one-night stand to me. These seemingly fly-by-night operations could be hazardous to your bankroll’s health.
You’ll notice that our daily fantasy sports site reviews pull no punches. We’re daily fantasy players first and foremost, and we wouldn’t suggest that you sign up and deposit money on a fantasy site that we wouldn’t consider playing on ourselves. If a site’s cash-outs are slow or they don’t have PayPal as an option to deposit OR withdraw, that’s a giant red flag. Sirens and flashing lights should be going off in your head. DANGER Will Robinson, DANGER!
We’ve seen what can happen with potentially shady site operators in the poker world*, and while I’m not suggesting that there are any shady daily fantasy site operators or that sites are bad or dangerous because they’re new, I am suggesting that you need to do your homework before you decide to make a real money deposit on any daily fantasy sports site.
Before you fly off the handle and slap a chunk of cash on every daily fantasy site under the sun, do some research on that site. Learn about how long it’s been open and how long it takes for them to process cash-outs. Look for reviews on our site or around the web (and hopefully come back to ours!) and get a good idea of what to expect before you make a decision you might regret that could have easily been avoided. Don’t go running down a dark hallway- turn on a light.
The safety of player funds concerns me greatly, and while I’m sure that these new site operators have good intentions, we all know what the road to Hell is paved with… We’re starting to see daily fantasy sites run by guys who are just jumping into the market with seemingly no experience, no background, and no real plan on how to run a daily fantasy site successfully.
To begin, take a look at the design of the daily fantasy site on which you’re considering making a deposit. Options and features will vary from site to site, but if it looks like they’d be better off as a 90’s high school faculty page, chances are the user experience will suffer. Remember: if they didn’t think that through, what else do you think they didn’t think through? It’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The bottom line is that the daily fantasy sports market is becoming diluted by a rapidly growing garden of sites run by any random guy with a dollar and a dream, a common trend we’ve seen with musicians in the past. If I say Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, or Pearl Jam, you’re with me on that one. If I say Radish or Dig, you probably have no idea what the hell I’m talking about (and I’m not sure you should).
It takes a lot of hard work to make a daily fantasy site great, and there are a lot of variables that need endless attention to make the end user experience the best it can be. Make sure that your real money deposits on a new site are opportunities and not traps.
*On April 15, 2011, a day known as Black Friday to online poker players, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Cereus Network (Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet) had their sites confiscated by the Department of Justice on charges of bank fraud and money laundering. Poker accounts on these sites containing millions of dollars in player funds were frozen, and while PokerStars has paid back all of their United States customers, Full Tilt Poker was found to be insolvent and, well, nobody ever expected to get their money out of Cereus Network anyway.