Fantasy Sites and Restricted States

Although daily fantasy sports are exempt from federal anti-gaming laws, individual states are free to deem the activity legal or illegal. Some states have banned daily fantasy outright while others define “gambling” so broadly that fantasy sites are not willing to accept customers from those states.

The reason some fantasy websites accept customers from states that other site ban is because each site must determine its own level of risk and reward. Different opinions from each site’s legal team are also responsible for not all sites having the same list of restricted states. It can be a confusing mess, so we put together this chart to show which states are restricted by which fantasy sites.

We do our best to keep this chart up to date, but please feel free to contact us any time if you notice any errors.

FanDuel.comDraftKings.comStar Fantasy LeaguesStarsDraftYahoo Daily Fantasy
Restricted
States
Alabama
Arizona
Delaware
Hawaii
Idaho
Iowa
Louisiana
Montana
Nevada
Texas
Washington
Alabama
Arizona
Delaware
Hawaii
Idaho
Iowa
Louisiana
Montana
Nevada
Washington
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
Delaware
Florida
Hawaii
Illinois
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Oregon
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Washington
All states restricted
except:
Kansas
Maryland
New Jersey
New York
Arizona
Florida
Iowa
Louisiana
Montana
Nevada
Washington
Yahoo Season FantasyRealTime Daily
Restricted
States
Arizona
Florida
Iowa
Louisiana
Montana
Nevada
Washington
Arizona
Indiana
Iowa
Louisiana
Montana
Nevada
Tennessee
Virginia
Washington
Washington D.C.
Canada (excluding Quebec) Puerto Rico

State by State Legislative Efforts

An increasing number of states are taking up the issue of daily fantasy sports. In 2015, the major daily fantasy sites put themselves on the radar with an advertising blitz executed in conjunction with the beginning of the NFL season. A number of state attorney generals decided to take a closer look and came out with decisions regarding the legality of DFS and whether or not the business model contradicts state gambling laws.

The major fantasy sites have since responded by sending lobbyists to various states with the goal being to defend their interests in the legal arena. Several states have banned DFS contests, others have introduced legislation to legalize the industry and many others have pending legislation that could pave the way for outright legalization.

The thing to remember is that state attorneys general do not create laws; they only enforce existing laws. Even if an attorney general appears hostile to daily fantasy sports, lawmakers in that state can still enact legislation to legalize the industry. So while things may seem bad in the short term, it is possible that an increasing number of states will in fact become friendlier to daily fantasy contests.

Our purpose with this page is to keep you up to date on legislative efforts across the United States. Below you will see short overviews of the legal situation in each state along with links to legislative efforts and pending bills.

Alabama

In April of 2016, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange issued an opinion stating that daily fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling under Alabama law. He then ordered DraftKings and FanDuel to exit the Alabama market by May 1st, 2016.

A pair of bills that seek to legalize DFS contests are currently making their way through the house and senate. These bills seek to establish the Fantasy Contests Act to regulate daily fantasy sports, provide consumer protections, provide civil penalties for violating the law and exempt fantasy contests from penalties associated with gambling activity.

Relevant Links

Alaska

There’s not much to report in Alaska. The state attorney general there has issued no opinion on the legality of DFS and there is no pending legislation addressing the topic. Fantasy sports operators continue to operate in Alaska with no trouble at this time.

Arizona

Arizona is one of a handful of states in which all DFS sites have refused to operate thanks to gaming laws with broad interpretations of what constitutes illegal gambling. Several bills have been introduced to legalize the industry, but so far none have made it into law.

The latest bill to be introduced into the AZ legislature is SB 1515. This bill would amend existing law to provide an exemption for daily fantasy sports. Tribal gaming interests argue that this bill would trigger a “poison pill” clause written into a gaming compact with the state. The poison pill states that if Arizona allows any expansion of gambling offered by non-tribal groups, the tribes would no longer be required to pay gaming taxes to the state (which total to roughly $100 million per year).

SB 1515 most recently failed in the Senate Rules committee by a vote of 2-5.

Relevant Links

Arkansas

Daily fantasy sports sites operate in Arkansas under the assumption that DFS is legal. Major DFS sites operate openly in Arkansas even though state law does say “if a person bets any money or any valuable thing on any game of hazard or skill, upon conviction he or she is guilty of a violation” and will be find as little as $10 or as much as $25. Even so, no state officials have come out against fantasy sites or prosecuted anyone for playing.

California

Nearly all DFS sites operate in California today. This could change at any time as the state is waiting for an opinion from Attorney General Kamala Harris. Meanwhile, a bill that seeks to regulate the industry is slowly making its way through state legislature. AB 1437 lays out a set of regulations designed to protect consumers, but it does not seek to legalize DFS. Instead, the bill will leave that determination up to the attorney general.

Several Californian tribes have expressed opposition to the bill and indicate they plan to fight it at every step. The bill has so far successfully passed three votes. Most recently, the bill made it through the Assembly Floor on a vote of 68-1.

Relevant Links

Colorado

Colorado is considered friendly to DFS sites at this time. Lawmakers have introduced one bill, HB16-1404, and it most recently passed a committee vote 9-4 on April 7, 2016. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Finance.

HB16-1404 will create an office of fantasy contests to oversee the industry and issue licenses to operators. The bill will require background checks, annual third party audits and provide penalties for operators that violate the law.

Relevant Links

Connecticut

Connecticut legalized and regulated daily fantasy sports as a part of a budget passed by Governor Dannel Malloy on 31 October of 2017. The budget the governor approved included a section that formally legalized daily fantasy sports, assigned the job of issuing regulations to the Commissioner of Consumer Protection and established a licensing process for daily fantasy operators.

Relevant Links

Delaware

DFS sites operate freely in Delaware, but state lawmakers are expected to take up the issue soon. State Finance Secretary Tom Cook said that they are “analyzing the facts” and that it is a “complicated issue and I want to make sure we have all the facts before we make a decision.” There are no pending bills to report on at this time.

Florida

Florida is a tough market with a complicated legal situation, but the biggest DFS sites do operate there today. Last year, an investigation into daily fantasy threatened to singlehanded destroy the DFS industry altogether. Legal Sports report has a nice overview of that case here.

In other news, two bills to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports have been introduced. HB 707 and SB 832 would exempt DFS contests from state anti-gambling laws and require sites to seek licenses before hosting real money games. These bills have made some progress since being introduced, but the future of DFS in Florida remains uncertain.

Relevant Links

Georgia

In 2016, the Georgia lottery asked the office of the attorney general for an opinion on the legality of daily fantasy sports. The AG office responded with a letter that said it is their opinion that DFS contests are not legal under Georgia law. The letter was not a formal opinion and therefore had no immediate impact on the ability of FanDuel and DraftKings to operate in the state, but it does indicate which way the state is leaning.

The good news for DFS players in Georgia is that there is a bill pending to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports. SB 352 will offer a formal definition for legal DFS contests, require operators to apply for a license and adhere to regulations designed for consumer protection.

Relevant Links

Hawaii

Hawaii has traditionally been opposed to anything that even resembles gambling, and this includes fantasy sports. The major operators stopped doing business in Hawaii after a local prosecutor sent cease-and-desist letters to FanDuel and DraftKings.

However, hope does remain for sports fans in Hawaii. Representatives introduced HB 1838 in January with the goal being to exempt DFS contests from the state’s definition of gambling. The bill also includes a set of standard consumer protection measures such as setting a minimum age of 18, preventing employees of DFS sites from sharing confidential information and more.

Relevant Links

Idaho

In May of 2016, Idaho’s attorney general issued an opinion stating that daily fantasy contests constitute illegal gambling according to state law. The AG also struck a deal with FanDuel and DraftKings requiring them to exit the state immediately in return for not facing legal action.

Illinois

Daily fantasy operators had a close call in Illinois this past Christmas. Attorney General Lisa Madigan opined that DFS contests violate state gaming laws and are illegal in Illinois. DraftKings and FanDuel immediately went to court and sued to allow them to continue operations until courts could decide the issue one way or another. DraftKings and FanDuel remain open for business in Illinois for now.

Illinois lawmakers have since introduced several bills that seek to legalize daily fantasy contests and institute “best practices” policies to regulate the industry.

Relevant Links

Indiana

Indiana is one of the few states to have fully enacted legislation legalizing daily fantasy sports. Governor Mike Pence signed SB 339 into law in March of 2016. Under this bill, operators may apply for a license and must adhere to a variety of regulations such as setting a minimum age of 18 and preventing employees of fantasy sites from entering paid contests with entry fees greater than $5.

Relevant Links

Iowa

Iowa has long been considered “off limits” by most major fantasy sites due to unfavorable gaming laws. This may not be the case forever. Several pro-fantasy bills have been introduced in recent years. One of these to make progress is Iowa Senate File 166, originally introduced in 2015 and could go into effect as early as July 1, 2016.

More recently, Iowa lawmakers introduced Senate Study Bill 3181 in April of 2016. This bill proposes to legalize online fantasy sports contests and give the State Racing and Gaming Commission authority to regulate the industry.

Relevant Links

Kansas

Daily fantasy sports are explicitly legal in Kansas. Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued an opinion in 2015 declaring that fantasy sports do not violate Kansas gambling laws. That same year, the Kansas legislature passed HB 2155 to formally legalize DFS contests.

Relevant Links

Kentucky

Kentucky has never formally addressed the legality of daily fantasy sports. DFS sites operate in Kentucky under the assumption that the activity is legal. A proposal for a bill to legalize and regulate daily fantasy was submitted in March of 2016, but it does not yet contain any details.

Relevant Links

Louisiana

Louisiana is one of five states that have been restricted by daily fantasy sports sites since the beginning. Back in 1991, the AG’s office issued an advisory opinion that declared fantasy sports leagues with real money prizes illegal. That opinion remains in effect to this day, and is the primary reason DFS sites avoid Louisiana.

State Representative Joe Lopinto introduced a bill to legalize fantasy sports in 2015. HB 475 sought to exempt fantasy sports from the state’s definition of gambling. The bill ultimately failed to pass. There are currently no active bills in Louisiana.

Relevant Links

Maine

Maine has yet to address daily fantasy sports at all. Nearly all fantasy sites operate openly in Maine and none of them have faced any legal challenges to date. There are no pending bills to address the issue at this time.

Maryland

In January 2016, the Maryland Attorney General’s office issued an advisory opinion stating that a 2012 bill addressing season-long fantasy contests was unclear regarding daily fantasy sports. The AG’s office then recommended the state legislature to take up the issue.

Two bills were introduced in the following month. Senate Bill 976 would legalize DFS contests and provide consumer protection regulations. House Bill 930 would move regulatory authority from the Comptroller to the Director of the Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

Relevant Links

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Attorney General set the tone for the fantasy sports debate when she proposed a set of regulations in November of 2015. Two months later, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission released a white paper detailing its vision of a regulated industry and asked the AG to issue an opinion regarding the legality of daily fantasy sports.

Although AG Healey has yet to issue that opinion, she finalized the proposed regulations in March of 2016. Fantasy sites were given until July 1, 2016 to comply with the regulations.

Relevant Links

Michigan

In 2015, the executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board said he believes daily fantasy sports contests violate state gaming laws. This was not a formal opinion and has had no impact on DFS sites in Michigan to date. Meanwhile, lawmakers have introduced a short bill that exempts fantasy sports contests from the state’s definition of gambling.

Relevant Links

Minnesota

Minnesota is shaping up to be a DFS-friendly state. The state attorney general has no jurisdiction over fantasy sports or gambling and the Department of Public Safety has gone on record saying it has no reason to investigate fantasy sports websites. HF 2540 was introduced in March of 2016 and seeks to formally legalize DFS contests and enact regulations for consumer safety.

Relevant Links

Mississippi

Fantasy sports are now legal in Mississippi. The state AG issued an opinion in January of 2016 that fantasy sports constitute illegal gambling. The major fantasy sites then exited Mississippi while lawmakers debated a legalization bill. Lawmakers came back with SB 2541, also called the Fantasy Contests Act.

The bill stipulates that fantasy sports sites will be authorized in Mississippi for a one-year period running from July 1st 2016 to July 1st 2017. During that period, the state will create a task force whose job it will be to consider more permanent regulations moving forward.

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Missouri

In his 2016 State of the State address, the Missouri governor called fantasy sports gambling and then later said we need to tax and regulate it if we’re going to legalize it. He sounds friendly to the idea, and lawmakers have responded with House Bill 1941 to legalize fantasy sports. That bill passed the legislature and was sent to the governor’s desk for his signature.

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Montana

Montana is a rare case in that state law explicitly forbids playing in real money fantasy sports contests. Fantasy sites have long barred Monatana residents from signing up and playing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this situation will change any time soon. A state representative introduced a bill in 2015 that would have legalized online fantasy games, but it later died in the chamber.

Relevant Link

Nebraska

The legal status of fantasy sports remains unclear in Nebraska. State lawmakers seem mostly friendly to the idea of legalization although there is considerable opposition from the usual anti-gambling types. Senator Tyson Larson introduced Legislative Bill 862 in January of 2016, but that effort appears to have stalled.

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Nevada

The Nevada Gaming Control Board declared fantasy sports to be a form of gambling in 2015 and immediately required fantasy operators to acquire a sports pool license from the board or exit the state. No fantasy sites have applied for a sports betting license to date and residents of Nevada remain restricted from all the major fantasy sites. However, the governor has urged gaming regulators to consider other regulatory measures specifically for daily fantasy.

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New Hampshire

New Hampshire lawmakers have yet to address the DFS issue. Fantasy sites continue to operate in New Hampshire for now. There are no pending bills to report on at this time.

New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has his sights on legalizing traditional sports betting and DFS regulation has taken a back seat. Even so, Senator Jim Whelan introduced a bill in March of 2016 that would legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports if passed. The proposal includes a number of the usual regulations such as segregation of funds, preventing employees of DFS operators from sharing confidential information and more.

Relevant Link

New Mexico

Fantasy sports remain in a legal grey area at this time in New Mexico. The major DFS sites still operate in New Mexico today, but their legal status is questionable. In early 2016, House Majority Leader Nate Gentry introduced HB 314 to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports, but action on the bill has since been postponed indefinitely.

Relevant Link

New York

New York was at one point the state most hostile to daily fantasy sports. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman started things off by declaring DFS to be contrary to NY law and issuing a cease-and-desist order to FanDuel and DraftKings. The sites challenged the order in court, received the go-ahead to continue operating until the court could issue a ruling and then later pulled out again while lawmakers consider legalization bills.

In February of 2016, Senator John Bonacic introduced Senate Bill 6793 to legalize and regulate the industry. This bill was eventually combined with another bill and then passed into law in August of 2016. Daily Fantasy is now officially legal in New York state.

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North Carolina

No legal action has been taken in North Carolina and the major DFS sites remain open for business in the state today. When asked about the issue, Attorney General Roy Cooper said that he will only issue an opinion if a district attorney asks for one. So far, no opinions have been issued and no bills have been presented.

North Dakota

North Dakota has yet to take up the daily fantasy issue. The state attorney general has chosen to defer questions of legality to federal authorities. Federal law (specifically the UIGEA) grants fantasy sports contests an exemption from anti-gambling laws at the national level. North Dakota state law is unclear on the issue, but there are no pending bills to address the issue.

Ohio

Add Ohio to the list of states that still need to tackle DFS. Lawmakers there have issued no opinion on the matter, but the state’s joint committee on gaming and wagering did promise to issue a public report on daily fantasy by the end of 2015. The year-end report failed to deliver anything beyond a passing mention of daily fantasy sports. Ohioans have access to DFS sites in the meantime.

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Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers tried to pass two pieces of legislation in early 2016, but both were blocked by tribal opposition. Tribes there say that legalization of real money DFS contests is an expansion on gambling. Doing so interferes with compacts between the state and tribes regarding gambling.

Oregon

Fantasy sports have not been addressed by Oregon lawmakers. Residents have access to all the major fantasy sites for now. In January of 2016, one Oregon resident filed a class action suit against FanDuel and DraftKings on behalf of himself and more than 100 other residents. The lawsuit alleges fantasy sports sites offer illegal sports gambling and give employees of sites an unfair advantage over the players.

Pennsylvania

One bill to regulate and license daily fantasy sites was introduced in 2015. Momentum on that effort has died down, but the bill is not yet officially dead. Lawmakers held a couple of years in 2015 and are still considering what to do next. Pennsylvania could go either way, but those hearings and the introduction of that bill last year indicate that lawmakers are at least open to considering the idea of regulation.

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Rhode Island

Rhode Island is definitely leaning towards legalization and regulation. In February of 2016, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin issued a letter of opinion stating that he believes fantasy sports do not constitute illegal gambling according to state law. That same letter from the AG also called for strict regulations to counter the “infiltration of the criminal element, youth participation, and addiction issues.”

Two bills were introduced in 2015. One of those called for a study while another called for regulations to be applied to the industry. The latter of those remains alive.

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South Carolina

Daily fantasy sports are legal in South Carolina and there have been no real efforts to put an end to the industry in the state. Eighth Circuit Deputy Solicitor Warren Mowry told a local news station that “it’s legal until it’s declared otherwise. I have not heard of any groundswell against it in South Carolina. I’m not sure how much energy there is to do something about it.”

One bill was introduced into the senate in February of 2016. That bill seeks to officially legalize fantasy sports contests and apply consumer protection regulations.

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South Dakota

No legislation is pending in South Dakota at this time and it is difficult to predict which way the state will go. Attorney General Marty Jackley released a statement in late 2015 in which he indicated that fantasy sports are not legal according to South Dakota law, but that it is not his “intent to seek felony indictments here in South Dakota absent a clearer directive from our state legislature. I will continue to consider other alternatives including potential civil remedies and National Attorney General joint action aimed at protecting the intent of our Constitutional and statutory provisions.”

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Tennessee

In April of 2016, the TN attorney general issued an opinion stating that daily fantasy sports contests are illegal in Tennessee under current law. Later that same month, the Tennessee legislature passed a bill to legalize, regulate and tax the DFS industry and sent it to the governor’s desk for a signature.

The governor signed off on the “Fantasy Sports Act” later that same month. Tennessee is now one of the first states to have fully embraced, legalized and regulated online fantasy sports contests.

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Texas

FanDuel and DraftKings took a big hit in Texas in 2016. That year, the state attorney general issued an opinion stating that daily fantasy sports contests run afoul of state gambling laws. FanDuel reached an agreement with Attorney General Ken Paxton to leave the state and avoid legal action. DraftKings decided to fight for the right to stay in Texas until the matter is resolved.

There are no bills pending to change the situation at this time, but FanDuel has said it will advocate for legislation in the 2017 legislative session,

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Utah

Utah is one of the staunchest anti-gaming states in the Union, but FanDuel, DraftKings and the other major sites continue to operate openly in Utah. Lawmakers there have yet to address daily fantasy sports and no legislation is pending at this time.

Vermont

In January of 2016, a lawyer for the Vermont AG’s office stated that DFS contests violate state anti-gambling laws. The statement was not a formal opinion, but it did show which way the attorney general is leaning. In the meantime, a bill seeking to legalize and regulate fantasy sports has been slowly making its way through the legislature.

Relevant Links

Virginia

Virginia is now one of the most DFS-friendly states. Senate Bill 646 was introduced in January, made its way through the legislative process and was signed into law by Governor Terry McAuliffe. The bill requires a $50,000 registration fee from operators and employs a number of consumer protection measures such as preventing employees from participating, setting a minimum age of 18 and more.

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Washington

Washington is one of the few states that most fantasy sites have avoided since the beginning. The state has some of the toughest anti-gaming laws on the books and operators are steering clear for now. Three different bills were introduced in 2016 but none of them made any progress.

One bill sought to exempt season-long leagues with 50 players or fewer and an entry fee of $50 or less from current gambling laws. A second sought to make it a Class C felony to participate in fantasy sports games. The third bill sought to actually legalize and regulate the industry in a manner that most fantasy sites would probably see as acceptable. In any case, we’ll have to wait until the next legislative season to see how things shape up in Washington.

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West Virginia

West Virginia appears to favor the regulatory approach over prohibition. A bill introduced in February of 2016 seeks to exempt DFS contests from the state’s definition of gambling. That bill made it through a Senate vote earlier this year but is still waiting to go to the House of Delegates for a vote.

Relevant Links

Wisconsin

Representative Tyler Vorpagel introduced a bill in January of 2016 that exempts fantasy sports contests from the state’s definition of illegal gambling as long as those contests meet the UIGEA-compliant definition of DFS contests. This bill is still pending.

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Wyoming

Wyoming has taken absolutely no action on daily fantasy sports. Neither the state attorney general’s office nor lawmakers have even addressed the issue. Until something changes, residents have access to all the online fantasy sports they can handle.