Fantastic sports sites blocked at workplaces in the United States

Posted: Oct 2, 2019, 12:52 p.m.

Last update on: October 2, 2019, 2:40 a.m.

Fantasy sports remain popular in the United States despite the expansion of legal sports betting. But workers trying to access their weekly work queues face internet barriers when using employer-provided computers and devices.

fantasy sports league office daily pool
Can you access your fantasy sports league at work? A career placement expert says such gambling contests could be good for office morale. (Image: scales)

New York Life Insurance, No. 71 on the Fortune 500 – the list of America’s largest companies in terms of total revenue – this week began blocking access to DFS sites for its more than 11,000 employees.

A report on Ladders.com, an online job search site for careers with salaries of at least $ 100,000, says New York Life employees were “stunned” Monday morning when they found the Yahoo Sports DFS site unreachable.

Sorry, you don’t have permission to visit this site, ”read a message to employees trying to access football.fantasysports.yahoo.com. “Not allowed to browse the Gambling category.”

“New York Life has blocked access to this website,” the notification added. Workers have been advised that if “you need to access this website as part of your job function” to contact IT.

Waste of time?

According to the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association, 59.3 million people participated in a fantasy sports competition in 2017 in the United States and Canada. Sixty-seven percent of those people had full-time jobs, spent an average of $ 653 on DFS, and 70 percent participate in a one-season league. The most popular sport, of course: football.

The debate remains about a company blocking access to sites that seem rather unrelated to the work at hand.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc, an executive placement and business coaching company, estimates that fantasy sports will cost employers $ 9 billion because employees seek out and bring their teams together during company time.

“While the cost to employers appears high, it is unlikely to affect the bottom line of a sole proprietorship,” Challenger chairman Andrew said in a statement. “[It] can be a boost to a company’s bottom line in terms of morale and lower sales.

The company estimates that workers spend 30 minutes a day on DFS activities. Nielsen Sports said 12.5 million American adults will play fantasy football this year.

In its cost projection, Challenger uses an average hourly wage of $ 27.98. “If players spend 2.5 hours on fantasy football each week over the 17 weeks of the pre- and regular seasons, the cumulative loss is $ 9,022,675,625,” the study said.

Prevalence of fantasy sports

The Supreme Court ruled in May 2018 that the federal sports betting ban was unconstitutional. Almost 16 months later, legal sports betting is up and running in 13 states, with more on the way.

However, DFS competitions are held in 40 states, including New York City, where the bigwigs of life insurance is headquartered. New York Life is certainly not the only Fortune 500 company to ban access to fantastic sports and other gaming sites. Challenger believes that this may not be in the best interests of the companies.

These types of distractions can keep the creativity of workers afloat. Fantasy football can provide workers with a common ground and a reason to connect when they otherwise wouldn’t interact, ”the study added.

Challenger went so far as to say that companies might even “want to encourage fantasy football leagues in the office.”


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