Are daily fantasy sports legal and are they considered gambling?

As a daily fantasy sports player, I’m often asked by people unfamiliar with DFS, how are daily fantasy sports are legal.  Typically the people asking me this question are confused as to how DFS isn’t considered illegal gambling in the United States.  This article will hope to explain what makes daily fantasy sports legal in most of the United States, unlike sports bet gambling.

Is Fantasy Football Gambling?

The question of, is fantasy football gambling, is not a stupid question to ask.  In 2006 the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed to ban online gambling.  This made it so online casinos and poker sites were banned from operating and serving customers within the united states.

The reason fantasy sports, including daily fantasy sports, are not considered illegal are due to a specific exemption in the piece of legislation.  Fantasy sports were deemed a game of skill, thus exempting them.

Now you may be confused as to why fantasy sports are considered a game of skill, while poker is not, and that makes two of us.  The fact remains though, that fantasy sports remain legal under United States Federal Law.  There are however certain states who have made fantasy sports or specifically daily fantasy sports illegal.  You can see which states are restricted from playing on FanDuel and DraftKings below.

Is FanDuel Legal or is FanDuel Gambling?

Yes, FanDuel is legal under federal law, although certain states have made it illegal.  FanDuel is not considered gambling in most of the United States, but rather a game of skill.  To play in FanDuel contests you must verify your location.  If you are in a restricted state, you will not be able to enter FanDuel contests.

Currently the following states are unable to play on FanDuel:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Texas
  • Washington

Is DraftKings Legal or is DraftKings Gambling?

Yes, DraftKings is legal under federal law as it is considered a game of skill.  Like FanDuel, DraftKings is not available in all 50 states.

Currently the following states are unable to play on DraftKings:

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Washington

Please Note

Please note the author of this article is not a lawyer.  To fully ensure DraftKings or FanDuel is legal to play in your area you should seek proper legal counsel.  DFS Strategy, dfsstrategy.com, and all of it’s affiliations accept no legal responsibility for players illegally playing fantasy sports or daily fantasy sports.

This post was updated on March 3rd, 2017.  Make sure to check if any federal, states, or local laws have changed.

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