Sports Betting vs Daily Fantasy – What’s the Difference?

by  Mémé

Here is one of many recent articles prompted by the deluge of DraftKings and FanDuel ads during fall sports broadcasts.

Why Betting on Fantasy Sports Is Legal But Betting on Regular Sports Is Not


1. Do you play fantasy sports (in the old sense of a league among friends/colleagues with modest cash prizes and a lot of beer, pizza and bragging rights)?
2. Do you play daily fantasy games?
3. Do you place bets with a bookie?
4. Do you see any difference between 2 and 3?
5. Do you see a difference between betting on sports and other gambling activities?
6. Do you consider gambling a victimless crime and think it should be legal across the board?

Or do you just dislike (as I do) the proliferation of shows and segments and ads ads and more ads focused on fantasy not actual games?


94 thoughts on “Sports Betting vs Daily Fantasy – What’s the Difference?

  1. I don’t play any type of fantasy sports, but DS1 is a member of 2 fantasy football leagues and also does fantasy futbol during the summer.

    “Or do you just dislike (as I do) the proliferation of shows and segments and ads ads and more ads focused on fantasy not actual games?”

    I totally agree! Very annoying.

  2. Dh is in a fantasy football league with his college fraternity brothers and he did win one year (I think a few hundered $). The buy in is small ($75). We have a friend who is in a few different fantasy football leagues with $1K buy ins but DH won’t participate at that level. I think gambling is gambling and is a victimless crime (but probably a tax on people who can’t do math, which includes both of my husband’s parents) and since there are more and more casinos popping up everywhere I think that it’s too late to be legislating restrictions.

  3. 25 or so years ago, my ex and a friend ran a fantasy baseball business. You paid your fee, drafted your team, and played each week (as long as you submitted your line up). There were small weekly prizes and a prize for the overall winner. I never got the reason that this was fun, though I am not a huge sports fan anyway. It never really made a lot of money, especially if you took into account the time put in. They did work on writing some code to automate part of it, but still I would put it in the hobby category.

    In my state gambling is pretty limited, but I don’t see the lines of distinction as all that clear cut. Charity bingo – OK, live horse racing – OK, reservation casinos – OK, but not on sports and no non-reservation casinos. I also understand having regulation over the gaming industry as there is at minimum a perception that a casino would cheat customers if it weren’t monitored.

    I have gambled some, but I can take it or leave it. I don’t think you can prevent people’s addictions or obsessions – alcohol, drugs, food, exercise, sex, gambling, etc. – you can only enforce consequences for when their behavior crosses the socially acceptable and/or legal boundaries.

  4. I don’t really understand gambling. If we took Meme & WCE and trained them to count cards and brought them to Vegas, they’d eventually be asked to leave on the grounds that they were winning too much. The entire system is designed to make you lose money. How is that fun?

  5. I don’t really gamble, but I’m ok with all types of gambling, except for Indian casinos.

  6. My brother’s gotten pretty into Texas Hold ‘Em. He has a weekly online game that has maybe a $20 buy-in. It’s hosted on a web site that is supposed to be just for fun, so the players send their buy-in separately via PayPal (and apparently, you have to be careful not to put something like “poker” in the Pay Pal memos).

    He sometimes hosts at his house, and with 20 or so people playing, many of them “re-buying,” there might be a grand or so in chips on the table. He goes to casinos and wins more often than not (I know everyone says this, but he’s an even more analytical person than I am, and if you go at a popular time, there are enough people at the table who don’t know the probabilities of the game as well as he does, so you really can clean up, even after the house’s rake.) And he’s gone to a few private games, and was amused to discover federal law enforcement agents playing alongside Justice Dept. attorneys. At least there are enough of the players armed in case the game gets robbed.

    I’ve never liked the game all that much. It’s too much stress for me, and I usually lose. I don’t find lying or trying to figure out if my opponent is lying to be all that enjoyable.

    I’ve mentioned that my best friend in college ended up in a few thousand dollars worth of credit card debt from sports gambling.

    I’m kind of neutral on the government regulation issue. Casinos are getting more and more popular around here–the one at National Harbor is next. Maybe there’s no good reason why the American Indians should get to have all the fun.

    I’d also wonder at one point investing becomes gambling.

  7. Rhett I think it’s fun for people that don’t have money. The idea of hitting it big or even for a few thousand is what the draw is. My MIL rationalizes it as it’s a fun night out for her and she’d spend the same on dinner and drinks, but if she’s gambling she may come home with more money than she started. She’s kept somewhat in line by her husband who gives her a strict budget but she truly thinks the games are fun. I go with her when we visit and after one visit I’ve had my “fun”, but I used to think gambling was a lot more fun when I was younger and poorer.

  8. “Rhett I think it’s fun for people that don’t have money.”

    I wouldn’t put that last qualifier on there. When I was at the Bellagio, there were plenty of people who had tons of money who apparently found gambling pretty fun. They had enough money that they could lose $30k in 10 minutes of Blackjack, tip the dealer, and say “I’m going to get a drink and I’ll try for some better luck in a bit.”

  9. “Or do you just dislike (as I do) the proliferation of shows and segments and ads ads and more ads focused on fantasy not actual games?”

    Yeah, that. It’s all very meta, isn’t it? It’s not about sports, it’s about the games about the sports. Kind of like the derivatives markets.

    I am really not a gambler, other than my Powerball fliers. I don’t think anything is truly victimless, because there is always someone who will take something fun-but-stupid to excess; but I do think in the world of “what is so bad that it requires prohibition,” gambling of the sort we’re talking about here is really low on the list. I don’t like it when the feds and states make these fine distinctions, because they’re nonsensical and completely ineffective. If the fear is that sports gambling is going to induce someone to pay Tom Brady to cheat, the validity of that fear has more to do with how much money is on the line than on the venue where that money will be lost or gained.

    I have been in a traditional family FF league for a few years. It’s $50/year, and the winner I think gets what’s left after covering any fees/expenses (but I avoid the logistics part, so I don’t really know). I am not in it for the money — the fun is the trash talk and commiseration amongst the family, which is spread everywhere from MD to KY to NC to TX. We talk more during FF season than the rest of the year combined — not because we don’t like each other, but we just get caught up in our own lives, and so it’s nice to have this “thing” that we are all doing at the same time that we razz each other about.

  10. I don’t get fantasy leagues AT ALL, but I could take or leave most sports (except for the Red Sox and skating during the Olympics or worlds), so I am clearly not the target audience here.

    Gambling – also meh. I have never been to a casino (except the Vegas airport, which has slot machines!) and don’t play the lottery until there is an expected positive return, so jackpot above around $250M or so. I think the ancillary effects of casinos (drunk and disorderly or other crimes, the ‘bad element’ entering town, plus excessive debt) are what people worry about when they get NIMBY about gambling. Fun fact: house across the street from us, not in great shape but still worth a bunch, has 2 liens on it for gambling debts, one for $50K and the other for $120K.

  11. I used to be in a FFL pre-kids, but the buy-in was $20 and it was all about the trash talking. Maybe once the empty nest hits I’ll start again.
    I play the lowest level slots when we go to Vegas–and usually I’m the only one in the group to break even.

  12. I’m like LfB. My family has an actual football pool– meaning that it is really simple in that we only bet on the outcomes of real games. I play, Junior plays, 3 of my 4 sisters play, spouses play (if they dare), some cousins I’ve never even met play.

    Yep, there’s a lot of trash talk. All in good fun. And along with that come e-mails with a lot of information and a closeness that wouldn’t otherwise occur. Among the family members, I’ve been through births of grandchildren, retirements, life abroad (and no live NFL coverage), deaths, promotions, whatever– and some of these people that I have come to care about, I will probably never physically meet!

    We do bet– $10 per week– but it nets out over the year in accordance with some system devised by my aerospace engineering second cousin once removed (who, incidentally, just had his second daughter) that nobody understands. Over all the years that we’ve played and enjoyed it, I think the largest amount of money that changed hands after the season was $30. (I paid it.)

    Most of us take our pool very seriously. I certainly do and spend hours each week with my green eyeshades on and writing (catching up with) far distant relatives. I love it!

  13. @Milo — :-). I think I need to rename my FF team “The Ravens,” as in the last two weeks I have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at the last moment (thus wasting exceptional efforts by Steve Smith in both games).

  14. I am becoming something of a conscientious object as it relates to football. The cumulative brain trauma evidence is shocking. I am not for banning it, but I cannot really watch it without being aware of the damage the players endure, even if there is no injury apparent. As someone who played a lot of football growing up, I am very happy my kids showed no interest in playing.

  15. “in the last two weeks I have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at the last moment (thus wasting exceptional efforts by Steve Smith in both games)”

    Such references are lost on me. :) I know that Baltimore’s football team is called the Ravens.

  16. A Parent, I think you’re right. I am really conflicted about watching (and loving) football. I think the League needs to do something about the injuries, but at the same time I have Dolphins season tickets. (Clearly, I suffer from brain damage, too.)

  17. I have recently gotten very turned off by football for a lot of reasons – particularly the brain trauma, the culture that seems to accept abuse and machoness above all. I am a big sports fan, and growing up in a smallish Midwestern town, football was a big part of my life. So it is a big change. I just can’t enjoy it anymore, and I have all but stopped watching any football at any level.

    As for fantasy/gambling. I have done fantasy teams with a small buy in, I buy a square in the office pool for the Super Bowl, and I always participate in at least one March Madness bracket pool. I’ve played a little blackjack & craps when I’ve been to Vegas for work. But that’s about where it ends. I do think that is gambling, but it’s pretty light gambling. I really do not enjoy Vegas all that much on a lot of levels, but will find ways to have fun when I have to go there for work. Just not my scene.

    Daily fantasy is straight-up gambling. Plain & simple. It is absolutely no different from online poker from my perspective. I don’t really care all that much if people want to lose all their money to professional gamblers, but let’s not pretend it is something that it is not. And let’s regulate it fairly for what it is.

  18. Ok Milo, there are people without money and people who have too much money that both like gambling. My aunt and uncle, who are pretty wealthy, enjoy Las Vegas, although their gambling hobby has only transpired in the last five years. My aunt plays the high limit slots and won $300K a few years ago. I think my uncle makes a $1M+ per year and has for quite a while so I think it is just a fun thing to do for them.

    I was reading an article a few weeks ago about PayPal and how gambling could become a decent source of revenue for them because they have deals with the online gambling sites. The article said they haven’t exactly been doing any PR on this move because of people’s moral issues with gambling, but it was an argument for buying the stock because of that particular revenue stream. I can’t imagine gambling online but apparently people do it.

  19. I don’t watch football or gamble so all I can say is that in a small office, it’s not fun to be the only person not in the FF league. Makes for dull lunch conversation.

    I do obsessively watch storm forecasts, though – Rhode, what do you think? Is it headed this way?

  20. My experience has been that fantasy leagues can exclude people in offices. It can be another form of discrimination for women, or others that are not invited to participate.

    I managed a team of approx 20 people that included a lot of people in their 20s. They were friends outside of work and they did a lot of stuff together before they got married.

    This included fantasy leagues for football and baseball. They even had their drafts in a conference room at work. It was all guys. There would be endless emails and discussions during work hours about their teams.

    Two guys had a massive fight about a trade. I actually had to transfer one to another team because they wouldn’t speak to each other.

    I still see some of them because of work or social stuff. These two guys still don’t speak and this happened in 2003.

    I am sure this is fun, but I found it to be an enormous time suck at work. Also, it created tension instead of bringing the overall group closer together.

  21. I grew up in a town where riverboat gambling contributed to family poverty and social problems, so I’m sorry it’s been legalized. Like drugs, or alcohol, or leaving your kid in the car while you stop at the store, if it’s legal, a few people will take it to excess.

    At a small town chemical plant, a good engineer buys raffle tickets for all fundraisers of the children of her operators/technicians. I have no problem with, say, elderly people who enjoy an evening of Bingo that’s priced like a movie ticket. I decided a raffle is not gambling if I don’t actually want to win the prize. :)

  22. DraftKings is now running fantasy leagues based on eSports (video game tournamets), which are fantasy games themselves. So you can play fantasy fantasy games.

    I play FFL with my family for no money. I put $25 into a DraftKings account just to mess around a bit. I won $3 in my first one.

    I think sports betting should be completely legal. I know one of the big arguments against it is that it will encourage attempts to fix games, but just about every game-fixing and point-shaving scandal that has been uncovered was found because legal sports books noticed unusual betting patterns on the games.

    As for the attraction of betting itself, it’s a rush. I dabbled in blackjack when I was in my early 20s, and I could easily become a compulsive gambler. I felt a huge surge of adrenaline waitng for the dealer to overturn the cards to see if I won or lost.

  23. Milo,

    The Model X takes that idea further. The front doors can open as the driver approaches. It’s cool, but it is an answer to a question that no one asked.

    I bet they will be like power minivan doors or a smart phone or a DVR, once you have one you wont be able to understand how you ever survived without it.

  24. PTM, I’m a Jets fan. Big game in London Sunday. You gotta love a 7:30 a.m. kickoff (my time).

  25. I hate the fanduel/draftkings ads. +1 to lfb re the game about the game part

    I’ve been in pools, bet with vegas, bookies, friends. I’m in a weekly college&nfl pool with a $20 buyin for the season.

    I love gambling. Particularly craps and blackjack with two or fewer decks. I have two “frequent flyer” cards from gambling companies.

    So, obviously, I am good with gambling.

    “Bet with your head, not over it”
    Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler

  26. Timely topic as I’m headed to a casino night themed gala tonight! I enjoy playing casino games but not at high stakes, so these events where you play with funny-money for prizes are great. Horse races are certainly more fun if you have a horse to cheer for, but I have never been one to bet on other sports. A few times when I happened to be in Las Vegas when my college team was playing football or basketball, I placed a bet for my team to win (but I lost!). I LOVE supporting my college teams and viewed that as just a fun thing to do in Vegas, but the idea of regularly betting with a bookie on 18-22 year-olds to cover a point spread is pretty distasteful. H has always played fantasy football with his college friends, becoming much more high-tech over the years since they used to calculate everything by hand from newspaper stats in time to see what the stakes were for Monday night football. I get how that can make it more fun to watch NFL games when you don’t care about a particular team, but it’s just not my thing. If I’m watching sports, I want to see the team effort and enjoy the camaraderie of winning or losing together. I am really torn about the brain injury issues after growing up with college football. I feel like we have learned a lot and are doing a lot to better protect the players, and the revenue from football pays for all the other sports.

  27. “I dabbled in blackjack when I was in my early 20s, and I could easily become a compulsive gambler. I felt a huge surge of adrenaline waitng for the dealer to overturn the cards to see if I won or lost.”


    Rhett – I can’t think of any practical reason why they have gull-wing doors vs. sliding doors, other than they attract more attention and they don’t want the press debating about whether it’s a minivan. Snow and ice, for starters, can put a real damper on the motors needed to operate those doors.

    I’m really trying not to be a Tesla hater just to be a Luddite, but I can’t muster much excitement for a $130,000 car as “revolutionary.” I’m much more impressed by developments like the Leaf or the Volt.

  28. “Anyone here interested?”

    Meh. I don’t like SUVs in general, and this one’s just butt-ugly (something I never thought I’d say about a Tesla, which makes some of the best-looking cars going). If I were dropping that kind of coin on a 4-door vehicle, it would be the Quattroporte (for the looks), the Panamera (for the performance), or the Tesla Model S (for both — anything that breaks the CR rating system belongs in my driveway).

  29. I grew up next to a state with legal gambling, so going to casinos was what one did. Although, I remember being told often, as teenager, that you never gamble more than you can lose, and that you never won very much after you turned 21. It was not a big deal to throw some coins in a slot machine on the way to dinner in a casino.

    Playing blackjack was a whole lot more fun in my twenties. Now, it just isn’t. Losing hurts so much more than winning, and even the charity casino fundraisers with funny money aren’t that much fun. Is this just another joy of middle age, that youthful pleasures aren’t that pleasurable anymore?

  30. I can’t think of any practical reason why they have gull-wing doors vs. sliding doors,

    They are awesome. What more justification do you need?

  31. As I looked over the posts, I began to wonder whether the majority of our group is naturally immune to the need for the “rush” in life, or perhaps if some of us who experienced that thrill in youth found it so alluring that we became abstainers at one or more sources of the rush. (The Totebag group does have some notable and beloved outliers.) My father had all the manly vices, including gambling, and I have a naturally addictive personality or perhaps more accurately a need for constant sources of external stimulation, so I have never been to a casino. I have also gone through extended periods where I did not drink alcohol at all, and my use of contraband stopped at 21 and even before then my friends watched out for me and made sure it was highly limited.

    I did try fantasy sports once or twice, but found it boring, and something completely random such as a raffle or a superbowl square is just a group bonding exercise. I used to win or place in the NCAA pool at work and got tired of the resentment expressed by the guys, so I played one more year and lost early and then was able to quit.

  32. Tesla – it looks like that Honda Accord Crosstour – butt ugly. It won’t be making an appearance in my driveway – though I would love a Model S. My commute is perfect for the range.

    Sky – yes it’s coming our way. What class storm it is, and how powerful a punch it will bring will be interesting. If it stays on its western track, it will hit the continental shelf and weaken a bit (I think). That won’t impact the MA/RI area too much. But if it skirts just east of the center line of the cone and RI/MA could take a direct hit. And if the timing is right, it has the potential to cause severe flooding because of the incoming tide. Given the lack of agreement between the different models, I think today/tomorrow will be critical to develop a path and the intensity of the storm.

    What do you think about NJ calling a state of emergency already?

  33. My aversion to pro sports is something I tried to overcome. I really wanted to like watching it and get into it. I wish I could, but I just don’t understand how people find it thrilling or exciting.

    I think a big problem is that I never see a way to connect with the athletes. When we were talking about the frugal NFL players yesterday, that was really a first, like somewhere in the back of my head I thought “I should look up how these guys have done at the end of the season.”

  34. “I began to wonder whether the majority of our group is naturally immune to the need for the “rush” in life”

    I think this is fairly likely, given where this group originated; we are mostly folks who have done pretty well, which on average is going to be associated with qualities like the ability to delay gratification. Which tends to be easier when you don’t feel that temptation as powerfully as others.

    But personally, it’s also that gambling doesn’t really do it for me (that whole “I will never be poor again” thing); like someone mentioned above, it just hurts too much to lose. But I do need the rush — just in other areas.

    And on a totally unrelated note, I just priced out an awesome Tesla Model S online at $138,500 . . . .

  35. I like to gamble. It is totally irrational – I get a lot more excitement of playing blackjack and walking away $100 richer, than I do out of making 10x that by picking up an extra shift. I know that the odds are against that being a consistent outcome. However, the odds are that my children will make it through childhood unscathed by trauma. I still fret when they are crossing the street, riding bikes near traffic, etc. Just because there is a likely outcome, doesn’t me I believe it will happen to me.

    I am not a football fan at all – I wish I could say it has something to do with the concussions, but I didn’t like it before, either. I grew up with TVs in multiple rooms always tuned into games (including during Thanksgiving dinner) and it is emblematic of a lifestyle I wanted to leave. I went to a college where no one followed sports and it strongly made the link in my head that football fans = poor and unworldly. It has been surprising as an adult to meet people who are smart, successful, well-traveled and like football.

    Of course, my school-aged daughter has been complaining recently that “we should watch football” – she feels lost at school where every lunch item has a football word associated with it (“Tackling Turkey Sandwich”, “Touchdown Nuggets”) and they have weekly spirit days. The assemblies open with football cheering (PTA included).

  36. Rhode, my hurricane magnet friend lives in CT, so I’m betting the eye will go right over her :)

    But the weather folks I follow on twitter seem convinced it is going to follow the euro model and head out to sea.

    Trying to decide if the last hour of naptime is better spent ordering tomorrow’s groceries online or picking up all the outdoor toys, and if I’m ordering groceries, whether to bet on a long power outage. (I lost several hundred dollars worth of food in Sandy and am still bitter.)

  37. Ah yes… If your local weather for the next 24 hours says wind and rain – pick up the toys. If not, wait until tomorrow. As for food, I’m over cautious because I’ve been burned too… I tend to get only what I need to survive and live without the rest. Since we shop on the weekends, I’ll see what tomorrow/Saturday brings us.

    Ugh… if your hurricane magnet friend gets the eye, RI is going to flood (the storms rotate counterclockwise, and the eye going west of RI means that the storm will push water up Narragansett Bay and we’ll have an incoming tide). I’m not convinced it will head out to sea just yet. But I also am not running around like Chicken Little. I did email a friend at the regional NOAA forecasting office for his opinion.

  38. Shooting at Umpqua Community College not far from me. News is still breaking, but it appears to be at least 10 dead.

  39. Oh WCE, I am so sorry to hear that! I hope none of your immediate friends/family/colleagues are affected, but I know that these things have very few degrees of separation in a small community. I will be thinking of you as the news comes out.

  40. One office I worked in did a college football pool, you picked so many games per week. If you beat the line, it was a win. Highest winning percentage of the week got $2 bucks, At the end the person with the highest winning percentage all weeks got about $50 and the biggest looser got $25. I’m not a big fan, I picked my teams based on their mascot. Two years in a row I had the highest winning percentage at the end. A number of the guys were mad, because they picked based on “knowledge of the game”. Just reinforced it was all pretty random. Anyway, most females did not play, though everyone was invited to.

    I’ve been and bet a couple of times at horse races, been to a small casino a few times (you could play all night at the low stakes table for $30, played bingo with a friend once a week for a year or so, and play the lottery once in a while. I give some scratch-off lotto tickets as stocking stuffers.

    I go along with don’t bet more than you can lose. A night of bingo or the small casino was the same as dinner and a movie type outing. Meme is right, it’s not something I get a huge rush from.

  41. WCE, I am a total, flaming liberal when it comes to guns. I believe the 2nd Amendment says “well-regulated militia”. I am sorry for your community and our nation in general.

    Meme made me laugh trying to figure out the vices I don’t have and embrace. (Teasing, if Junior ever tries to smoke, I will be a well-regulated militia coming at him.) I have never been to a race track. I desperately want to go. Of course, I know nothing about horses, but I think I could get interested in The Racing Form. I just can’t find anyone to go with me.

  42. winemama, the Kentucky Derby is still on my bucket list. One of these days I will take you up on that offer!

  43. Wce – very sorry to hear that news.

    Ptm…I’ll take you to hialeah! And we can down a some gennys before and after.

  44. “I lost several hundred dollars worth of food in Sandy and am still bitter”

    When preparing for a hurricane, one of the steps I take is to fill empty space in the refrigerator and freezer with containers of water. That will help keep them cold longer in the event of a power outage, and if things get really bad, will be another source of clean drinking water.

    I also suggest making sure your gas tanks are pretty full.

  45. “I have recently gotten very turned off by football for a lot of reasons – particularly the brain trauma, the culture that seems to accept abuse and machoness above all.”

    They’re gladiators.

    From that standpoint, it’s too bad the NFL doesn’t have an LA team.

  46. “I’d also wonder at one point investing becomes gambling.”

    When I was a kid, my parent often told me that stock market investing is legalized gambling. I think they wanted to make sure I knew that the possibility of losing money was always there.

    Unfortunately, they didn’t also drill into my head the omnipresent possibility of losses to inflation.

  47. Oh, man, Fred, what a wonderful idea! Can we also agree to meet at Nicks at 2:00 a.m.?

  48. WCE – so sorry!

    Wine – I have my hat ready! And I love me some mint julep! (PS… I gotta make it out to your area… DH’s goddaughter lives near you and he hasn’t seen her in ~2.5 years).

  49. Sky – my friend at NOAA is leaning towards the Euro models right now, but since it’s still “so far out”, he’s saying everything cautiously.

    Also – if you’re concerned, drop the temp on your fridge and freezer to the lowest setting for the next few days, this way if the power does fail, you have more residual cold.

  50. Too much exposure to family and friends who suffered the ill effects of gambling….(and similar to WCE in some respects…)
    2 suicides (both fairly prominent, successful professionals), 4 bankruptcies…good friend is a counselor in the field and talks about the personalities and income levels who suffer the most – Not the TBag demographics for the most part. And gambling industry is wily. They have worked hard to change the name to Gaming.
    A nephew in computer game development told a fascinating story about the work that he is doing – gambling people want gambling games developed that will play upon/resemble computer games that kids are growing up with. The thinking is that gambling games that resemble #@%% Birds for example, or Candy “+*& will be attractive to people who have been raised on these games.
    And a friend in Student Life (dean) at a major university said that Online Gambling is a huge problem with students. They have had students who have dropped out due to gambling debts and at least one known suicide. And then, the number of students who spend too much time on this instead of academics.
    Guess you could call me not a fan of gambling….When it was just in Las Vegas, it was a destination. Now, go to the casinos and sit in the parking lot or stay near an entrance for a few hours. One of the most depressing afternoons that I had was doing that when I was helping with a pseudo-business event at a casino.
    I’ve come to consider them a blight on society.

  51. Rhode and Sky – Dave Epstein “Weather Wisdom” is my go to weather blogger and he is letting most of New England off the hook. Of course, RI is always in much more danger of flooding. We are scheduled to take Amtrak on Wed, so I am keeping an eye on it all – flooding along the I 95 corridor on Monday-Tuesday could disrupt our plans completely.

  52. Finn, I was being serious. I can dvr the game and watch it over breakfast and then get on with my day.

  53. That hurricane looks way too far out for you guys to be worrying about it at this point. (Of course the news media has diagnosed our state with “hurricane fatigue” so possibly I’m jaded.) If I were in SC and points south I’d probably be checking you I’d be checking in once or twice a day just in case it does a dramatic shift in direction, but not rushing out to buy anything. If I were in VA and points north I wouldn’t worry about checking it till Sunday, and then assess whether appointments may need to be rescheduled or high winds seem likely.

    But you guys don’t get these threatening you as often, so if you’re enjoying tracking it and speculating on whether it’ll hit, carry on! Ironically, we do *not* have a hurricane heading our way this week.

  54. WCE, I’m really sorry you had to experience something like that so close to you, and of course the victims and their friends and families have all my sympathy.

  55. On Saturday, Chick-fil-A will finally open its giant Herald Square location, the largest damn Chick-fil-A in the whole gosh-darn country.

    Finally, in NYC. I’ll have to go after the crowds die down.

  56. HM, thanks for your voice of reason. I keep checking the weather channel and imagining 17 – 22 inches of rain (the worst case scenario of both storms converge directly over my house). Clearly I need to chill.

    WCE – so sad for your community. I’m going all PTM on this issue lately, which doesn’t make me popular with my friends and neighbors.

  57. @WCE — sorry to hear. Hope you and yours are well. Thinking of you guys.

  58. “Finally, in NYC. I’ll have to go after the crowds die down.”

    The crowd NEVER dies down at Chick-fil-A. Each franchise is like a license to print money.

  59. “The crowd NEVER dies down at Chick-fil-A. Each franchise is like a license to print money.”

    While still popular, our local branch doesn’t need a stationed police office to keep the peace between cars and patrons. And I’ve gone there and picked up dinner and brought it home in less than a half hour (it’s a 10 minute drive from my house). So there is some calm to the storm.

    HM – this is the news right now (especially in Southern New England) because (1) we haven’t seen a storm all season (2) it’s a late season storm (like Sandy, but she hit landfall at the end of the month, was huge, and that’s nothing like this situation at all. The Sandy comparisons continue) (3) not much else going on right now (government is still open, and all other political nonsense is status quo). IMHO, I agree with you – I wasn’t going to worry until sometime tomorrow.

  60. The thing that seems to make Chick fil A different is that, while they refer to their locations as franchises, they don’t really seem to be franchises in the normal sense. Prospective operators–and you have to be approved by Corporate to be one–only need to put up $10,000 in capital. But they can’t buy 20 locations like Tim McGraw in the Blind Side, hire 20 managers, and retire to poolside. There are requirements for how many hours you must work on-site (it’s full time). It’s all very tightly controlled, which, I imagine, helps them maintain their obsessive levels of quality and service:

    The Chick-fil-A franchise opportunity requires that the individual be free of any other active business ventures and operate the Restaurant on a full-time, hands-on basis.

    Chick-fil-A Operators must successfully complete an extensive, multi-week training program prior to commencing operation of a franchised Chick-fil-A Restaurant business. With additional development courses and franchise support available, Chick-fil-A Operators are equipped to handle decisions and reap the rewards of a challenging business.

    Become a franchised Chick-fil-A Restaurant Operator
    You might want to continue researching an opportunity with Chick-fil-A if you:
    •Are looking for a full-time, “hands-on” business opportunity.
    •Have a proven track record in business leadership.
    •Have successfully managed your personal finances.
    •Are a results-oriented self-starter interested in growing a business.
    •Are prepared to have no other active business venture.

    This is not the right opportunity for you if you:
    •Are seeking an investment or an equity position in a business.
    •Want to sell property to Chick-fil-A, Inc.
    •Are requesting that Chick-fil-A, Inc. build at a specified location.
    •Are seeking multi-unit franchise opportunities.
    •Would like to diversify your franchise portfolio.

  61. Mr. Fittipaldi was chosen from hundreds of applicants to be the brand’s Manhattan franchisee. (Chick-fil-A hears from roughly 20,000 franchisee applicants each year and selects between 75 and 80.) He says he has the discipline to make it work. Raised outside Buenos Aires, he joined the Argentine Navy at 16 and traveled the world for nearly a decade before settling in the U.S. as a dinner-cruise ship captain.

    His ultimate dream was to get to NYC. Video about him at link.

  62. DH read the Truett Cathy (founder of Chick-fil-A) book a few years ago, it’s really a pretty good story. My oldest is going to the headquarters next week for a field trip. We know some people who work for corporate and they treat their employees very well (free gym, free lunch in cafeteria every day, heavily subsidized on site daycare that’s only about $250 per month). Our Chik-fil-As are almost always crowded but they know how to move people through. When the drive thru gets backed up they have people with iPads outside taking orders and credit cards to speed things along.

  63. only need to put up $10,000 in capital.

    And Chik-fil-A finances the building and equipment and provides working capital?

  64. Rhett – This is from 2007:

    Chick-fil-A pays for the land, the construction and the equipment. It then rents everything to the franchisee for 15% of the restaurant’s sales plus 50% of the pretax profit remaining. Operators, who are discouraged from running more than a few restaurants, take home $100,000 a year on average from a single outlet.

  65. A 2014 article in Atlanta Journal Constitution puts the average operator’s annual pay at $190,000.

  66. Milo,

    That’s a very interesting business model.

    take home $100,000 a year on average from a single outlet

    That’s not a lot for how much work it must be. Also, from your description their doesn’t seem to be any capital accumulation. It’s not like you have a loan on the building that you’re paying off, etc. Can the franchises be sold or do they have to be sold back to corporate?

  67. Rhett – That’s what I was thinking. It’s comfortable, but there doesn’t seem to be any option for advancement. You can’t expand, you can’t buy another franchise. You’re really just a manager paid on commission.

    How can the franchise be “sold” if Corporate has to approve the next operator, and (s)he only pays $10k for it? I don’t think you can be paid in stock since it’s not a public company. (I’m sure there are ways around that; I just don’t think they’re issuing equity shares in this case.)

    I have a FB friend from college, an AA woman fwiw, whose sister and BIL are about to open a CFA franchise.

  68. I have massacre fatigue too, and I’m really tired of “thoughts and prayers” but no action from our politicians.

    The reason my state is so concerned about the hurricane is because we’ve already had rain every day since Saturday except for yesterday. My county’s schools closed early on Tuesday, all day Wednesday, and today because of flooding. With the ground saturated, it won’t take much wind to knock trees over. Not to mention that the storm will continue to dump more rain on us all weekend. Lots of tickets up for sale for tomorrow’s football game. Fortunately, I had already made other weekend plans and gave mine away.

  69. “The crowd NEVER dies down at Chick-fil-A.”

    Risley, what college did you DS select? Feel free to not respond if you prefer.

    The reason CFA brought that to mind is that there is a CFA right across the street from USC. That was where we had our one CFA meal, which we liked a lot.

  70. Rhode, I’d still suggest you, and those potentially in the path of a hurricane, take at least the easy precautions, like fill your gas tanks, fill your refrigerators and freezers with containers of water, and make sure you have enough prescription meds for at least a few weeks.

    It’s also a good time to review general emergency preparedness, e.g., having cash (lots of small bills) on hand, rotating your canned goods and general medical supplies and restocking as necessary, and making sure you have a supply of batteries and TP.

  71. Oregon has a gun control bill (941) that is not supported by many sheriffs around the state in large part because they lack the resources to enforce it. My Facebook feed has lots of people who believe that if people like Chris Mintz were allowed to concealed carry in public buildings, there would be fewer dead.

    For those of you who are in favor of stricter gun laws, what do you think of the question of passing a law vs. supplying the resources (databases, methods to fix inaccurate background checks, police officers/people) to enforce the law over years/decades? It seems there are lots of laws already on the books that are not consistently enforced. To get a concealed carry permit now, you have book an appointment with the police department at least a week in advance during a two hour period that occurs something like twice a month. If it’s tough for the working poor to get time off to attend their parent/teacher conferences, how can we expect them to comply with concealed carry regulations like this? (You can tell what complaints I listen to at home…)

  72. “If it’s tough for the working poor to get time off to attend their parent/teacher conferences, how can we expect them to comply with concealed carry regulations like this? (You can tell what complaints I listen to at home…)”

    That might be a window into the priorities of some parents.

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