States Where You Can Play Fantasy Sports

When fantasy sports started to gain momentum and popularity, some states within the U.S. began taking a second look at the legality of playing online. Since money is often involved, especially with sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, some states have tried to say that it is gambling, and therefore illegal unless the company has proper licensing. Today more and more lawmakers are beginning to monitor the topic of Daily Fantasy Sports.

Below we have outlined each state and included whether fantasy sports are legal there to help you navigate the world of fantasy sports in your area. We should mention that the red states are places where fantasy sports are not necessarily illegal, but rather many of the top DFS sites view them as being too risky to accept players from due to the legal landscape.

Fantasy Sports Map

Green = Legal and no restrictions.
Red = Not necessarily illegal, but deemed too risky by DFS sites to operate.
Grey = Law is Unclear, and some sites do not operate here.

Alabama – Not allowed
Alaska – Allowed
Arizona – Not allowed
Arkansas – Allowed
California – Allowed
Colorado – Allowed
Connecticut – Allowed
Delaware – Allowed
Florida – Some sites allow, grey area
Georgia – Allowed
Hawaii – Not allowed
Idaho – Not allowed
Illinois – Allowed
Indiana – Allowed
Iowa – Not allowed
Kansas – Allowed
Kentucky – Allowed
Louisiana – Not allowed
Maine – Allowed
Maryland – Allowed
Massachusetts – Allowed
Michigan – Allowed
Minnesota – Allowed
Mississippi – Not allowed
Missouri – Allowed
Montana – Not allowed
Nebraska – Allowed
Nevada – Not allowed
New Hampshire – Allowed
New Jersey – Allowed
New Mexico – Allowed
New York – Not allowed
North Carolina – Allowed
North Dakota – Allowed
Ohio – Allowed
Oklahoma – Allowed
Oregon – Allowed
Pennsylvania – Allowed
Rhode Island – Allowed
South Carolina – Allowed
South Dakota – Allowed
Tennessee – Allowed
Texas – Some sites allow, grey area
Utah – Allowed
Vermont – Some sites allow, grey area
Virginia – Some sites allow, grey area
Washington – Not allowed
West Virginia – Allowed
Wisconsin – Allowed
Wyoming – Allowed

Legality of Fantasy Sports

The legal mumbo-jumbo surrounding fantasy sports within many states is very complicated and somewhat of a grey area, especially given how new playing fantasy sports for money is. This means it will likely take many years of legislature, laws and regulations to properly oversee the industry as a whole and shed light on the topic. It is unclear how long it will take, and what the outcome will be, but many Fantasy Sports companies are taking the initiative.

One of the biggest aspects of fantasy sport legality comes from what it is viewed as on a state by state basis. For example one argument is that DFS are a form of gambling, in which case it would be illegal in most states. This is a fundamental aspect of the fight for legalizing it, and one could also make the counter argument that daily fantasy sports are in fact a skill based game. If the latter is proven to be the case, it may still require additional, new laws and regulations.

Some states however; like Nevada, who is known for their relaxed gambling laws, have said that a gaming license is required to operate such sites. This does not mean that DFS would be illegal, just that the companies operating these sites would need to acquire the proper licensing. In the end it will end up coming down to  how each state interprets what exactly fantasy sports are classified as; gambling or skill based games.

FanDuel vs DraftKings

FanDuel and DraftKings seem to have taken very similar approaches to the states they allow and disallow players from. Nearly every state where FanDuel has pulled out of DraftKings has as well, and vice versa. One of the only states where the two biggest companies have differing opinions is in Texas. Here, FanDuel does not allow players while DraftKings currently does. This does not necessarily mean that daily fantasy sports are illegal in Texas, but they are also not necessarily legal.

DraftKings Restrictions

Currently, DraftKings does not allow players to participate in games within 10 states; Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, New York, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, and Washington State. Like we mentioned above, it does not mean that games are “legal” in the allowed states or that games are “illegal” in the restricted states. It just means that DraftKings feels the benefits outweigh the potential legal issues in the allowed states.

FanDuel Restrictions

FanDuel does not currently allow players in the same states as DraftKings, for the same reasons, with the addition of Texas. It was only this past may when FanDuel came to an agreement with the Attorney General of Texas; Ken Paxton. Mr. Paxton has an unfavorable view of fantasy sports, and it appears that FanDuel does not want to take on the lengthy and costly legal battle that would have pursued. DraftKings is still allowing players from Texas, until a decision is reached in their lawsuit against the state.

Petitions For Daily Fantasy Sports

With the immense popularity of fantasy sports, many companies are taking action to try and keep them legal. All major DFS companies have been starting petitions to help protect the games we all love. It’s estimated that over 20% of Americans play fantasy sports each year. If each of us get involved, it will make the legal battle for daily fantasy sports a little easier for everyone. Below we have made a list of resources where you can get involved in the fight.