Is Playing on DraftKings Legal?

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Is Playing on DraftKings Legal?

draftkings crownsOver the last several years, daily fantasy sports (DFS) have rocketed in popularity due to an increase in fantasy players, the chance to win real money, and the flexibility they provide in comparison to season-long fantasy sports leagues. The complex gambling laws in the United States, however, have made it confusing for many players to figure out where they can play legally.

Is playing DraftKings Daily Fantasy legal?

Current laws are complicated, and there is not a simple answer. In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a law blocking sports betting, and leaving legality largely up to individual states. If you are in Arizona, Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada or Washington, DraftKings does not operate and is probably not legal in your state.

The situation has been most complicated in New York, which has had competing legal opinions making DFS legal, then illegal, and now currently legal as appeals make their way through the court system.

DFS are legal in Nevada, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. However, Nevada regulates gambling, and DraftKings Daily Fantasy does not currently operate there.
DraftKings-Daily-Fantasy-State-Tracker

Is playing DraftKings Sportsbook legal?

Sports gambling may soon become legal across the United States, but currently the DraftKings Sportsbook does not operate in the states listed above that also ban Daily Fantasy. Sports betting is currently legal in Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. It is also legal in Nevada, in partnership with a casino; DraftKings may soon become available there, but is not currently an option.

**The Map below shows what states have a LIVE DraftKings Sportsbook Mobile App & Website Online in which you can play.

DraftKings-Sportsbook-App-State-Tracker

Is there a way to play in a state where it is not currently legal?

The technical answer is yes, while the legal answer is no.

Playing on Draft Kings Sportsbook might be possible even if you are in a state where it isn’t legal, but you’ll have several obstacles to overcome. First, you’ll need to use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, which will disguise the state you’re accessing the site from by giving you a proxy address in a state where it is legal. However, most easy-to-use commercial VPNs will not work to do this, as DraftKings has blocked either the VPN programs or the IP addresses they try to use from legal states.

If you do manage to set up a VPN to convince DraftKings you’re playing in a legal state, you will also need to consider the complications of providing an address and legal form of payment based in that state. Be very careful, as you may run into legal issues outside of gambling laws if you misrepresent your address, name, or other details in order to access a payment method.

Playing DraftKings Daily Fantasy in a non-legal state would face the same problems, but on a daily basis. Each time you want to set or tweak a fantasy lineup, you would need to go through the process of making sure your VPN and payment details are based in a legal state.

What are the real risks of trying to play on DraftKings in a state where it isn’t legal?

While DFS players are not (at least so far) a prime target for law enforcement, you will be breaking the law. You may not be merely breaking state laws, either, but also potentially federal laws like the Wiretap Act, which could be interpreted to treat VPNs as a form of wiretapping. The likelihood of you being investigated, charged, or convicted of violating federal law merely for playing daily fantasy sports is low, but not zero, and the penalties could be severe.

When will DraftKings Sportsbook come to your state?

If you want to play on DraftKings in your state easily and legally risk-free, the best thing you can do is to advocate for legal changes through your political representatives. Local casinos, state legislatures, and other gambling advocates benefit from public support to change anti-gambling laws.

Florida, Ohio, and Connecticut are currently reviewing legality, while Kansas released an opinion encouraging legality for DFS and sports betting. Other states are considering legislation or currently sit in a grey area of the law. Some states require online companies to partner with a casino based in the state. Each state also has its own laws concerning required licenses and fees that must be paid to operate in the state. If the costs of these licenses and fees are too high, it may not make business sense for DraftKings to operate there, even if legal.

  
Sam Shefrin is the founder of Lineups.com, 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 Forbes.com for industry insight and his websites featured on NBATV, Yahoo! Sports, Fantasy Pros, Bleacher Report and SB Nation.

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