Is FanDuel Legal?

FanDuel Strategy Course 101

Playing FanDuel Daily Fantasy Contests – Legal or Illegal?

Fantasy sports leagues have been around for quite a few years now. There is a difference between the traditional season-long leagues and daily fantasy sports (DFS). However, the DFS concept has exploded in popularity over the last few years. One of the primary DFS sites is FanDuel. Almost immediately, there were questions surrounding the legality of the idea.

Players paid an entry fee to test their sports knowledge against others. DFS seemed to border precariously close to the line between gambling and a game of chance. This debate has become so intense it has found its way into the US court system.

A huge change occurred when the US Supreme Court struck down an order banning states from taking sports bets. We’ve answered the question, Is Sports Betting Legal in the US? Here’s a look into few legal questions surrounding FanDuel’s Daily Fantasy contests and the FanDuel Sportsbook mobile app. Once you determine if you can play, make sure to use our FanDuel sportsbook promo code for the highest new user bonus.

Is Playing FanDuel Daily Fantasy Legal?

fanduel daily fantasyThe whole idea of legal or illegal when discussing daily fantasy sports game revolves around a single aspect of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. In a nutshell the law prohibited specific online gaming operations, primarily poker.

However, the law specified what DFS advocates refer to as the carve-out. The teeth behind the law authored by US Representative Jim Leach was targeted at financial institutions. It essentially forbade them from accepting transactions attached to online gambling.

Basically, one would think this would be case closed. Well, accidentally according to Leach, the carve-out clause allowing for daily fantasy sports was exploited by legal experts. From it was born a hugely profitable industry and a whole bunch of legal wrangling.

A place where the legal complications were even more pronounced was in New York. A 2016 court decision made it legal, then less than two years later it was flipped to illegal. Such is the crazy state of New York civil issues.

As of now, New York is a state seemingly wanting both sides of the equation to be equal. There are heavy murmurs surrounding the legalization of sports betting, but for the moment DFS players are actually violating state law. This seems to have all DFS operations in a state of limbo.

FanDuel legal DFS map

What are the states you can’t play FanDuel In?

The states you can’t play FanDuel DFS in are: Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Washington.

Is Playing FanDuel’s Sportsbook Legal?

This is a question that is geographical in nature. With New Jersey‘s victory in the US Supreme Court last year, any state has the option to rule on the legality of sports betting on their own. There is no longer a federal watchdog to slap the hands of sports gamblers. This ruling has left that totally up to the states. State by State legislation is slow-moving, but we’ll update the map below as FanDuel enters new markets with a Live betting app.

FanDuel sportsbook legal map
What has happened is that the windfall revenues associated with games of chance have taken over. These financial profits are clearly beginning to lure states into the legal sports betting equation. FanDuel’s sportsbook is one of the early leaders in the sports betting industry.

The safest way to classify the legality of FanDuel’s sportsbook is to look at it from two different perspectives. Any sportsbook operation is no longer against federal law. The May 2018 decision took care of that.

The only way for a sportsbook to be illegal is for play to be allowed in a state that either hasn’t ruled it legal or explicitly has written a law making sports betting illegal. One interesting aspect of two pending state rulings is their proximity to one another.

There may not be as much interest from Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents situated close to the borderline between these two states. Depending on which offers the most favorable outcome, one could just cross this invisible barrier and place bets on the other side.

However, how each state rules will impact how other states across the country may lean. Be mindful, New York touches borders with both these states as well. Lawmakers certainly must be contemplating the idea of bags full of bountiful revenue-driving across state lines and being handed to their stately neighbors.

Is there a way to play in a State with no legality?

To make a sports bet outside the state boundaries of a legal state, you’re going to be both computer savvy and pretty brazen. The ability to compromise the code and trick a location detector from reading your accurate location is possible.

However, this in and of itself will automatically place someone in potentially hot water. Illegal manipulating things in cyberspace carries a far different set of federal penalties than throwing down a game bet in sports.

The same thing would go for entering basic, old-fashioned daily fantasy sports contests. The same problem will exist for anyone caught violating internet laws. Plus, you’ll find yourself back at the same locked fence trying to get any money you win into an account where you can spend it.

What are the real risks of trying to play on FanDuel in a state with no laws?

Stepping across these boundaries will open you up to a pair of federal violations. You’ll immediately be stepping across the line of legality in relation to the Federal Wire Act, not to mention violating aspects of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

With all the open legal battles still going on across the nation, most could expect a slap on the wrist if caught taking or placing a sports bet. But, altering some facet of the internet will expose the bettor to a whole new series of potential crimes with rather unflattering consequences.

Even if you could manage to manipulate the system and place a bet from Ohio using a New Jersey sportsbook app, there will be an even greater challenge getting any money you win. Seems the whole idea of pushing through an illegal bet isn’t worth the time or the headache, especially in light of the potential consequences.

When will FanDuel Sportsbook come to your state?

fanduel sportsbook

The short and rather blunt answer to this question is whenever lawmakers decide to ink legislation making sports betting legal. You can count on FanDuel being an immediate part of any sportsbook conversation once it becomes legal in your state.

There are a handful of states that have little or no chance of becoming home to legal sports betting. You can often get a strong indication of the possibilities through how rigid standard gaming laws are.

If your state doesn’t even allow a lottery, don’t hold your breath waiting for it to legalize sports betting. You can’t rely on that as a 100-percent guarantee because Nevada, the original gambling capital of the US, doesn’t have a state lottery.

Mississippi has brick and mortar gaming venues, so look for that state to soon entertain a wider source of revenue from sports betting. Alabama, Utah, and Wyoming will also be hard sells for legalized sports betting, primarily for the same reason.

The rest of the country is an open game. Most lawmakers are beginning to witness firsthand the philosophy behind the rulings in states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. License fees and taxes generated by online casinos alone are staggering.

Legal sportsbooks would simply add additional profits, profits that some estimate could be vastly larger than even online casino games. To see how long it might be until you see the FanDuel sportsbook in your state, check out pending legislation.

When any state passes a new law to legalize and regulate sports betting, see how high these proposed fees are estimated to be. States with fees far out of line with what current states are charging will only place themselves further down the ladder. Most likely, license fees and taxes will probably be uniform across the country.

When it comes to sports betting on FanDuel, or any other sportsbook/DFS site, the best advice would be rooted in an age-old adage. Patience is a virtue. It might also be a mindful response to any urge to try to navigate around current state law and place an illegal cyber-bet.

New Jersey won the first battle. Since the May 2018 US Supreme Court ruling, dozens of other states have laced up their gloves. One huge difference is that the sports betting fights are going to be fought toe-to-toe in each individual state.

If your state currently hasn’t opened its doors to legal sports betting, you can always pack up and move. Or, you can just ride out the wave of sentiment sweeping the nation, and hope that sooner than later your state will open its own doors to sports betting. Again, patience is a virtue.

Sam Shefrin is the founder of, Inc. Before Lineups, he started Daily Fantasy Cafe, Inc. in 2014. Armed with a passion for sports and every Atlanta team, his journey continues with the goal of making Lineups a premier sports analytics destination. He has been quoted on for industry insight and his websites featured on NBATV, Yahoo! Sports, Fantasy Pros, Bleacher Report and SB Nation.

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