Playing fantasy football for prize money adds an extra element of excitement to the game. Leagues of varying size jackpots can spice up the fantasy experience for many men.
Although playing for money is meant to be fun, the mere existence of it can be problematic. Negative consequences are possible for both individual team owners and entire leagues.
The rest of this article discusses complications concerning fantasy football prize money and how to best deal with them.
Every summer you probably start getting invitations to sign up for fantasy football leagues. This might come from other guys you know or maybe online fantasy site ads. Both of these may promise very high payouts to the winner, depending upon the league.
Generally those with the biggest prizes will require the most upfront cash from team owners. Several Internet sites offer high stakes fantasy football, charging entry fees in the thousands. At this point, it must be determined how much you can really afford to spend and lose.
Many men do not think of fantasy football as “gambling” in the traditional sense. Despite this, the same potential pitfalls do exist. Even though you might be confident about winning, there are certainly no guarantees of it.
Unfortunately stories exist of league commissioners or other members mishandling collected prize money. Before turning over any cash, you should evaluate who is in the league. If you feel uncomfortable about things, it might be best to avoid the entire situation.
Sadly there is also cheating that can occur during the season that might even involve a league commissioner. A large jackpot might tempt owners into some form of collusion or other unfair behavior. Unbalanced trades or teams purposely losing to help others are two common types of dishonesty.
As was mentioned earlier, there are plenty of places online to play fantasy football. If choosing to do so, you should make sure the site is legitimate and will actually pay any winnings. Legal aspects such as age or particular state restrictions should be adhered to as well.
Playing at Work
Be aware of all company gambling regulations before joining a league at your workplace. This is very important since many employers have severely cracked down on fantasy football. You must keep this in mind, even if majority of league activity is off site and in non-working hours.
Fidelity Investments fired four employees in 2009 for this at a Texas company office. A few emails belonging to the league commissioner were intercepted and found with fantasy related content in them. Reportedly league buy in was only $20, but all four were still terminated since company policy was violated.
Although the Fidelity case in an extreme example, it should still serve as a warning. In these tough economic times nobody wants to be out of work. This is especially true for fathers that are supporting a family.
Effect on Friendships
Fantasy football disputes have unfortunately created many rifts among even the best of friends. Some grudges and hard feelings have lasted quite a few years. Since cash is the primary cause for much of this, you may want to think twice before joining a money league with friends
A lot of disagreements stem from team owners failing to pay a required entry fee. Rules usually say that those missing the payment are not invited back the next year. In a league of good friends that owner might anticipate an exception; only to be angered when he does not get it.
Any type of dishonesty or even allegations of it can harm the loyalty a group of guys might have. Obviously overall trust would be lost for a person who squandered league funds or even accidentally misplaced them. Any type of cheating by someone, prove or not, can strain the most solid of friendships.