Draftstars review – How to play daily fantasy sports for money
Draftstars is a new Australian fantasy sports betting platform that allows users to enter a daily competition and play for monetary rewards. Still in its infancy, the Draftstars fantasy concept is only available on selected AFL matches.
Draftstars Pty Ltd is a joint venture between NewsCorp’s Fox Sports and bookmaking brand CrownBet. Whilst wagering on fantasy competitions may be new to Australia sports fans, it has proven to be a commercial hit over in the United States where entry fees totalled $3.2 billion in 2015. It appears to be another coup for proactive betting operator CrownBet, who through their exclusive partnership with the AFL, is able to offer their members: free live streaming of AFL matches and enter them in the official AFL footy tipping competition.
How is it different to other fantasy games?
Fantasy competitions are not new to the Australian sporting landscape, AFL fans will be familiar with the DreamTeam and SuperCoach competitions. There are a few major differences with the new Draftstars game: competitions are much shorter, some last only one game; there are financial rewards up for grabs and in most cases entrants must pay to enter a fantasy contest. It is a form of betting, hence where CrownBet’s expertise comes in, the Draftstars licence is provided by the Northern Territory Racing Commission.
How it works
After registering an account and depositing funds, go to the ‘lobby’ interface to see what contests are open and available to play. Remember, only AFL games are in operation for the time being. There will be a range of contests for you to choose from: for example, you can choose to enter a different contest on a selected AFL match.
Entry fees and prizemoney
For each match, there is a range of games you can enter. Some contests cost $2 to enter and there are only 10 players, whilst some contests cost $15 to enter but are open to up to 750 players. The difference is the prize pool, the smaller contest carries with it a purse of just $18, whilst the larger competition has a total prize pool of $30,000. You get to choose the contest you want to enter.
Similar to the machinations of a totalisator system, the Draftstars fantasy betting operation takes a cut from each contest, usually something in the vicinity of 11-12%. All other monies are distributed amongst the winning participants.
The scoring for the AFL fantasy game is similar to that for other reality-based competitions. Every kick scores 3 points, a handball 2, a goal 6 and a tackle earns 4 points. The image below shows the full scoring breakdown for AFL matches.
Selecting a team
Unlike season-long fantasy sports competitions that require you to fill every position on the AFL ground, the Draftstars daily sports fantasy game only requires you to select 9 players to into your team for the match. This has been dubbed a ‘salary contest’ by the organisers. The salary cap for the 9 players is capped at $100,000, hence where the skill comes in from entrants to select the best 9 players within the cap restrictions.
There is even a ‘Turbo’ format where you only need to select 6 players. The Turbo contest is designed for ease of use and efficient selection. With this format, you only need to select one player from the lists provided.
How to Enter
- You need to 18 years or older in order to play
- You need to sign up for a Draftstars account, you can click this link.
- You then need to make an initial deposit in order to enter contests
- You are now ready to choose a contest from the ‘lobby’ interface
- Use your knowledge to select your fantasy team
- Watch the contest live or follow scoring on the Draftstars app
It’s going to be interesting to see how Draftstars’ daily sports fantasy platform is accepted in Australia. The format has proven to be a success in the North American market, and Australian sports fans already have experience with reality-based selection competitions. The missing ingredient, until recently, has been the wagering component. True to their innovative approach, CrownBet has stepped up to the plate. It’s going to be interesting to see how Australia’s other leading wagering providers respond and counter CrownBet’s ascendancy in the fantasy sports betting space.