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Introduction to Fantasy Sports


The concept of Fantasy Sports has been around for several decades. Professional sports leagues are starting to realize that fantasy sports platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel are a great way for spectators to engage in the sport.


Fantasy sports hasn’t always been considered legal in many states. Federal laws have also been questioned over the years to determine if fantasy sports games should be considered under the gambling category.


After many disputes from a legal perspective, it turns out that fantasy sports platforms are allowed to operate at legal skill games under a few different conditions. The primary condition requires DFS platforms to format their contests to operate based on player stats and lineup selections. This means that sports props, money-line wagers, and other possible fantasy sports wagers are not allowed in the DFS environment.


Which states allow Daily Fantasy Sports platforms to operate legally?


Individual states have had the opportunity to analyze daily fantasy sports’ legality after the Supreme Court struck down a significant gambling law in 2018. Many states choose not to dispute the legality of daily fantasy sports platforms. Some stricter states have attempted to shut it down. New York has been in a constant battle with daily fantasy sports providers. The legality has been questioned and the rules for DFS in New York have changed many times. It is incredibly likely that appeals and disputes will continue in New York for many years to come.


Major fantasy sports platforms like DraftKings choose not to operate in Washington, Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and Alabama due to questionable local laws within each of these states. The only real unique example out of those previously listed states is Nevada. The Nevada Gaming Commission has ruled that providers have to purchase a license and operate under strict rules. It is currently unclear if fantasy sports providers will make a play to operate within Nevada in the future.


The likely future for Daily Fantasy Sports is that many states will ultimately legalize it to take advantage of the potential revenue that comes with regulated fantasy sports games. There will be many disputes and appeals over the next several years, and one day it could be possible that daily fantasy sports are federally regulated across the entire country.