Is Fantasy Sports Betting Legal?

Is Fantasy Sports Betting Legal?

- February 18, 2016

Every year, the Super Bowl gets over a hundred million viewers in the US alone. But to a huge percentage of the fans, the victor was less significant than their fantasy sports bets and the serious coin they won.

Through the years, fantasy football betting has gained a large following, and sites like DraftKings and FanDuel became more and more popular. In the US and Canada, fans are definitely taking advantage of daily fantasy sports bonuses as the Fantasy Sports Trade Association reports that there’s an estimated $26 billion annual spending in the industry – that’s roughly $465 per player every year. The rapid growth of this industry has prompted lawmakers to scrutinize this form of sports betting and question if it should be considered legal.

Is fantasy sports legal in the US? That question has been confusing a lot of fantasy sports enthusiasts, and a lot of sports betting sites have been taking advantage of this complexity and ambiguity. According to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, transactions from banks or similar institutions to online gambling sites are considered illegal. However, the bill specifically exempted fantasy sports games on the basis that they rely on the skills of the individuals who place wagers rather than chance.

So in general, the answer to that question is “yes”. However, before you go ahead and place your American football fantasy bets, keep in mind that individual states still have the jurisdiction to ban betting sites. To date, fantasy sports is illegal in Arizona, Iowa, Washington, Montana and Louisiana.

Which States Can You Play Fantasy Sports in?

Various fantasy sports companies, including DraftKings and FanDuel, have different approaches when it comes to which US states are blocked or allowed to play. Moreover, it is worth noting that while the games are illegal in some states, players can still place bets in some of those prohibited locations – they just aren’t allowed to deposit cash. Here’s a list of fantasy sports betting sites and their provisions on placing bets.

Legend:

Allowed = Yes

Blocked = No

DK = DraftKings, FD = Fan Duel, SFL = Star Fantasy Leagues, YHO = Yahoo, SD = StarsDrafts, FND = FantasyDraft, FF = Fantasy Feud, FA = Fantasy Aces, DO = Draft Ops

STATE DK FD SFL YHO SD FND FF FA DO
Alabama Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alaska Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Arizona No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Arkansas Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Delaware Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Florida Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
Hawaii No
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Illinois Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Iowa No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Kentucky Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Louisiana No No No No No No No No No
Michigan Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Missouri Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Montana No No No No No No No No No
Nebraska Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nevada No No No No No No No No No
New Mexico Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
New York Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes No
Oklahoma Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oregon Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
South Carolina Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
South Dakota Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tennessee Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Texas Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vermont Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Washington No No No No No No No No N

Disclaimer: this table is correct as of 18 February 2016.

Not sure if you can play fantasy sports in your area? Give it a test by playing free fantasy sports now!

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard’s interest in keeping up with the ‘bleeding edge’ of technology has kept him working in the digital marketing industry for over six years. Aside from searching for opportunities to increase his online marketing knowledge, Sam also scours the Internet for useful bonuses and coupon codes that he can use to fuel his love for photography. During his free time, he watches professional photo retouching tutorials in between streaming his favourite TV shows. Fun fact: Sam has never met a cupcake he didn't like.

3