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Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood NFL Gambling

Public health advocates are telling the NFL to stop marketing fantasy football to kids

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By Minda Smiley, Reporter

February 24, 2016 | 2 min read

Two public health organizations are calling on the NFL to halt its ‘Rush Fantasy’ operation, which allows kids ages 6-12 to play fantasy football and in turn win prizes like money and vacations if they score enough points.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) have written letters to NFL “citing evidence that playing fantasy sports, particularly with the incentive of valuable prizes, can lead to problem gambling and addiction.”

According to both organizations, the NFL gave out ‘Grand Prizes’ of $5,000 (called a scholarship) and a vacation for three to Hawaii to see the 2016 Pro Bowl to the two children with the highest point totals for the 2015-2016 season. It also awarded Xbox One consoles and Madden NFL 16 games to the child with the highest point total each week.

NCPG exeutive director Keith Whyte said: “The high value of the prizes may send a message to children that playing fantasy sports is a good way to earn money for education. Even worse, it may encourage children to spend excessive amounts of time trying to win these prizes, thus planting the seeds of addiction.”

Both the CCHC and the NCPG have offered to meet with the league to discuss their concerns.

Their comments come as daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings find themselves in a legal battle with states that claim their operations amount to illegal gambling.

Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood NFL Gambling

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