Daily fantasy sports are taking off in Mexico

esports industry

Fantasy sports—online competitions that allow players to build and manage teams over a season, in a bid to win real money—have exploded over the past few years.

But just like trusty Nokia candybar phones eventually bowed to faster, shinier smartphones, traditional fantasy sports have wilted beside daily fantasy sports (DFS).

The premise of DFS is more or less the same. But with shorter timelines and quicker payoffs—some contests only last a day—they’re like fantasy sports on speed.

The quick cycle of bet, play, lose, repeat is exciting, addictive, and reminiscent of casino gambling.

Because of this, daily fantasy sports have had an ongoing flirtation with gambling laws and risked being sidelined by regulations. A lot of the debate hinges on whether DFS are a game of skill or chance, with lawmakers on one side of the fence and large fantasy websites on the other.

Regulating this kind of online activity is really complicated. If you want an entertaining (if a bit biased) explanation, check out John Oliver’s take on the subject:

But while daily fantasy sports are stuck in regulatory limbo in the US, Mexico is proving to be an exciting untapped market for vendors.

The Mexican market is only worth a fraction of the American one: The fantasy sports market in Mexico was valued at $737.4 million in 2015, and will reach $1.78 billion in 2020. However, the smaller market size isn’t stopping big sites like DraftKings, FanDuel and FantasyPros from expanding aggressively into Mexico.

While these projections encompass all fantasy sports in the country, daily fantasy sports are a massive part of this, with a market share of 64.7%. Traditional fantasy sports account for just 30% of the market, with materials making up the remaining 5.2%.

Heavy expenditure on advertising will help DFS providers capture the Mexican market

FanDuel and DraftKings spent a combined total of $206 million on TV advertisements in 2015.

It may seem strange for two web-based business to spend so much on TV ads, but for companies trying to expand in Mexico, this makes sense. While internet and smartphone penetration is growing in the country, consumers in Mexico still get a lot of information and entertainment from television. Additionally, viewer data from cable and satellite boxes is easily analyzed in conjunction with web data, in order to better understand the habits of target demographics.

For more information on fantasy sports, check out Technavio’s new report.