This one is definitely not for everyone and usually requires you to float money (depending on how aggressive you are). But for all you sports lovers – time to get excited!
I’ve been sitting on this manufactured spend technique for a couple of years, debating on whether or not to write about it. I’ve never heard anyone talk about, and I saw it mentioned only once on FlyerTalk before others quickly shot the idea down because of high risk. I can’t even find that thread anymore after a quick search. This technique is done entirely online but is not available in all states.
This will be new and complicated to most people so I’ll explain the background and technique before going into exactly how you should play this game. It’s a long post, so bear with me. This is not an easy technique, but it is a great way to manufacture spend and meet minimum spend requirements or more – especially if you’re a knowledgeable sports fan!
What are Daily Fantasy Sports Leagues?
Most of us have heard of fantasy sports. You essentially get a bunch of friends together and do a mock draft of all the players in a particular sports league (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, etc.). The real stats those players earn while playing are counted in the fantasy league, and essentially whoever ends up with the best performing players at the end of the season wins the fantasy sports league. It can be for money or just for fun.
Daily Fantasy Sports Leagues are a new twist on this: You can draft a new set of players each day, and we have the entire pool of players playing that day available to us. For example, in a head-to-head match-up between you and me, we can each have Kobe Bryant on our teams. You’re given a fictional salary cap ($55K for example) and each player costs a fictional amount ($8K for Kobe Bryant for example) depending on how good their past statistics are. We’re going to use websites like this to deposit and withdraw money. I have full examples at the bottom because I know this is hard to understand right now.
In my opinion, daily fantasy sports is gambling for all intents and purposes. If you have a gambling problem, stop reading this post and call 1-800-522-4700.
The government, however, has decided to call this a “game of skill” and so it is not subject to the same regulations that gambling is. All the websites I will mention have pages explaining why these games are not considered gambling, and most are US-based companies. The super short answer to the question of “Is this legal?” is “Yes, fantasy sports is considered a game of skill and received a specific exemption from the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA 2006).” Many articles have been written by reputable newspapers on the subject – just Google it.
Here’s how the games work: the simplest examples are head-to-head match-ups where you can challenge one person and the winner takes home the pot, minus a “rake” that the website collects as a fee for running the service. So for example, you and I each put in $5 (making a $10 pot) and draft our teams separately (we can’t see each other’s teams while drafting). If my team’s players earn more points than yours on that night, then I receive $9 back for a profit of $4. The extra $1 goes to the house/website as the “rake”.
The Manufactured Spend Angle
So how can one manufacture spend using websites like these? It just so happens that all of the major websites that offer services like these accept credit cards to load your account. Not only are they fee-free loads, but they usually have a “first time deposit bonus” that can earn you a few hundred extra dollars. There are restrictions to the bonus that I’ll explain later – it’s not just free money like it sounds.
I’ve been using one particular website like this for 2+ years now and it’s my go-to for playing as well. I’ve deposited and withdrawn tens of thousands of dollars using my credit card from this one website alone. Withdrawals are not instant but usually don’t take more than a few days. They can either go to your bank account or to PayPal, among other options, depending on the website.
It’s also worth noting that most of these websites have a money-back guarantee in case you hate the experience.
Don’t Deposit and Withdraw Immediately
Hopefully this goes without saying, but depositing and withdrawing immediately is not a smart thing to do with a technique like this. If you want to preserve your account and have the ability to do this long-term, then go very slowly. YOU MUST BE ABLE TO “FLOAT” MONEY FOR A FEW MONTHS. The floating aspect is assuming you want to make sure your account stays open.
Additionally, you MUST play the games. I know…it’s not ideal. When I stumbled upon these websites I was stoked because I was a big fan and was confident in my knowledge of the NHL in particular. I’ve actually made money while doing this. But if you deposit and don’t play before withdrawing, they’ll know something is up. I usually deposit, play about $100-$200 worth of games (win some, lose some), then wait a couple of months and withdraw. Then I wait another few months and make a big deposit again – rinse and repeat.
I know it still doesn’t make much sense right now so I’ll give a step-by-step process below. But first…
All of the below links are my referral links, and as always I’d appreciate it if you used them if you decide to try this. Most of these referrals only give me a super-small % of your winnings (if any), but some may also benefit each new user that signs up (for example, we each may get a free entry or something). Each website has a different referral program. My username for all accounts is nhlpepsiguy (yeah, yeah…just don’t ask).
- FanDuel – This is my go-to website. You can see under my profile that it’s been over 2 years now since I started using this website (and you can also see my lifetime wins!).
- DraftStreet – This is also a well-run website.
- DraftKings – This website offers the biggest sign-up bonus – a matching bonus up to $600. It’s not free money like it sounds like – I’ll explain below.
- Fan Throwdown – I used this site a lot early but not as much recently. Still a solid option.
- DraftDay – My least favorite of the four, but it gets the job done.
- Tons of others. Just Google “Daily Fantasy Sports” and get excited!
Feel free to put your own referral links in the comments section.
Step 1: How to Deposit Money
This step doesn’t need much explanation, but depositing money is simple. You fill out your information just like you would for any other online purchase. Bonus amounts (if any) will also be listed on this page.
The way the bonus is “released” into your account usually requires you to play the game. Each website works a little differently in this regard. Some of them release the bonus when you lose a game, so if you have a $100 bonus pending then it will be released as you lose games. Others release it simply based on the number of games/amounts you play. I won’t try to explain it more here since each website is different, but I highly encourage you to read the details for each website if you go for the bonus.
Step 2: Money is Loaded – Time to Play!
As I mentioned, you must play a few times if you want to make sure your account stays open. The bonus you earned from the initial sign-up will hopefully protect you against some losses, but as always, play at your own risk. My recommendation is to play a lot of $1 tournaments. It shows you played a lot and the people playing at the $1 level are usually not as “good” and gives you a better chance of winning.
You can usually filter by sport, type of game (head-to-head, tournament, etc.), and entry amount.
Once I select my parameters and a particular game, I’m ready to pick my team. I mentioned I play hockey a lot so the above example is of a huge 800+ person $1 tournament.
Each sport has a different way of calculating how your team will earn points, so pay close attention to that when selecting your team! (This assumes you’re actually trying to win)
You’re allowed to pick 2 players at each position (except goalie) in FanDuel’s NHL games. The fictional salary cap is $55K (note that I’m only putting up $1 of actual money for this tournament). Sidney Crosby is regarded as the best hockey player in the world, and you can see his fictional salary is the highest.
Step 3: After Playing – Let Your Account Sit
Hopefully you’ll win more often than lose. If you deposited several thousand dollars, then play at least $50 worth across a lot of games. If you deposited something like $5K, then play a few hundred. After you think you’ve played enough – let your account sit for 1-2 months (assuming you don’t want to keep playing). This is a very important step.
Also important: if you’re making use of a bonus, make sure you’ve earned the entire bonus. It may look like you only signed up to earn the bonus before withdrawing, which is definitely not allowed. There’s almost always a sign-up bonus on the first deposit, but it’s less likely for future deposits (although there are some bonus promotions every few months).
Step 4: Withdraw
Withdrawal is usually pretty easy. I put an image of FanDuel’s withdrawal page below. I haven’t received a 1099, but I don’t think I’ve won over $600 in any year on any one website anyway.
Step 5: Wait Another 1-2 Months. Rinse & Repeat.
Just wait a while to make sure the withdrawal goes smoothly. I recommend waiting a few months, but feel free to push the envelope at your own risk.
Summary And Other Thoughts
Again – definitely not for everyone.
This one requires some work and requires you to actually play fantasy sports games. The positives are that everything is done online, there are tons of companies that do the same thing, the deposits are fee-free, it has serious staying power, and you have the potential to make some money while also manufacturing spend (if you know what you’re doing). On the other hand you have the very real potential of losing money as well, and if enough people abuse the system then they may introduce a fee to load via credit card. It’s not a way to earn points quickly or in large amounts – it’s more of a long-term, steady solution. Also, while this isn’t exactly gambling according to the government, it’s pretty much the same thing in my opinion.
Be patient and work through it slowly – this could be a really great way to create a lot of points over a one year period. There are tons of websites available that do the same thing, so maybe getting blacklisted on one isn’t such a terrible thing. If you do $3K deposits on 5 different websites every 2-3 months, you’re generating an extra $60-$90K of spending a year. You can accelerate or decelerate that as much as you feel comfortable doing.
If nothing else, then hopefully I’ve informed some expert fantasy sports players out there how to make some extra cash! Just be careful and don’t go overboard.
Seriously though – this is gambling. If you have a gambling problem, call 1-800-522-4700.
I’m curious to know if anyone else uses this technique or if there are any ways to “upgrade” this process to earn even more points. I’m sure I’ll receive some backlash for even suggesting something like this, but hey…I just provide my thoughts. You’re adults – make the right decision for you.