Los Angeles, CA – Popular daily fantasy sports betting site Fanduel announced today that they will soon be branching out into a new gambling, er….gaming…. arena. Starting in February, Fanduel will be offering real-time betting opportunities on the blood ethyl alcohol (EtOH) levels on drunk patients who present to select local Emergency Departments (EDs).
“You know,” commented a Fanduel spokesperson, “there are fantasy wagering opportunities present throughout our daily lives that transcend the world of sports. Emergency medicine is no different. We foresee a world of competition involving the trials and tribulations of drunk patients in our local EDs. I mean, this is a great idea, right”?!
The concept works as follows. After triage where a patient presents to an ED with presumed alcohol intoxication, the triage nurse will activate a button where the patient’s vital signs, brief triage history, and a video feed are uploaded to Fanduel’s servers. The patient’s name is changed and abbreviated, but age and weight remains correct. The eyes of the patient are blacked out to protect their real identity. The patient’s information is then added to a running list on Fanduel’s screen. Bettors have until the EtOH level is listed as “in process” to make their guesses. Once the value as been reported, the bettor closest to the actual number wins a cash prize consisting of the total pot of bets, minus 25% for Fanduels’ cut.
A beta test of the concept recently was deemed a success.
“The alcoholic in room 24 is here twice a day for the last 10 years with drunkenness,” commented one player, “I guessed that based on his tolerance, the degree of slurred speech, and his past presentations that he should have an EtOH level around 355. Turns out, I was exactly right! I won $200.”
“This drunk college student came in by EMS slurring his words and looked half asleep,” observed another, “He looked like someone without a lot of tolerance. So I guessed his level around 150. Came back at 110. What a lightweight”!
The decision to branch out from sports was largely financial. Over the winter, Fanduel stands to lose significant business as the football season ends. This new service stands to allow Fanduel to recoup a significant amount of lost revenue during a season when only less lucrative sports such as basketball and hockey are available for sports betting.
Some privacy advocates have decried this gaming endeavor as a possible HIPAA Violation. A spokesperson for Fanduel responded to this accusation thusly: “We take privacy matters very seriously. We will have technicians working in real time to make sure there no invasion of privacy nor personal information leaking out to the public. We are confident that our victims….er, patients….will have their faces blurred and their identities secured.”
In an unrelated story, several employees of Fanduel’s competitor, Draft Kings, recently took moonlighting jobs as technicians at UCLA Olive View’s ED. Word is that they plan on working only Friday and Saturday nights. Draft Kings had no comment.
Those who wish to participate in the beta test can enter the promo code: INTOX.
** Be sure to check out the author’s website, First World Emergency Medicine, for more fantastic satire **