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Fantasy Sports more than holding its own in a weak economy, panelists say

Despite a weak economy, members of a Fantasy Sports panel said that they have not seen a real decrease in participation numbers. Stats Inc.‘s Greg Ambrosius said, “Our numbers are up 38% this year, and last year was up as well. The numbers keep growing and growing. … People still have a passion for fantasy football and everyone thinks they can win on draft day.” Fantasy Football Players Championship co-Founder Alex Kaganovsky, whose company has more than 1,000 teams in ’12 with cash prizes reaching the $1.2M mark, also noted, “This year, we saw absolutely no letup in participation. In fact, it has gone up incredibly.” The panelists also discussed ways to potentially grow interest in these high stakes games. Fulltime Fantasy Sports’ Emil Kadlec said, “The opportunity may not necessarily be in televising a draft, but in really following the characters. These people are from all walks of life. Professionals, students.” Ambrosius added that SiriusXM “has done a great job with their fantasy channel, and any time you’re on there, you’re reaching a hard-core audience of people. That’s been a great driver of new customers, as well.”

Fantasy Sports: Future of High Stakes Games

Greg Ambrosius, Stats
Emil Kadlec, Fulltime Fantasy Sports
Alex Kaganovsky, Fantasy Football Players Championship
Stacie Stern, Head2Head Sports

A recurring theme during a discussion of high-stakes fantasy gaming was the black eye given the industry from certain companies not paying out on games in the past. Head2Head Sports GM Stacie Stern noted that the issue is always being discussed at the Fantasy Trade Sports Association and said, “I don’t know how much regulation we as an association can place on companies. The best thing is to put the power in consumers’ hands. Tell them, ‘Hey, check out this company. Look up their reputation, their history.’ … Unfortunately, people are going to be on the bad end of that. It happens in all businesses. I just don’t think we can regulate it.”
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Football, Champion, Champions, SiriusXM, Audi

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