With football season approaching, many may be wondering whether Fantasy Football is in the cards for them.
The biggest operators, DraftKings and FanDuel, have had their legal staff busy in the past few months working local and state lawmakers.
They have their work cut out for them given that, since October 2015, several states have given DFS the label of a form of illegal gambling.
The fact is there so much fragility and unsurety in the way the laws differ in various states. It is also a battle of outdated notions of online betting compared to the innovative, tech-driven fantasy contests of today.
These companies are disruption models.
But getting all 50 states on board will be a long and bumpy road ahead. But if you look at the odds on betting sites, you’ll be able to do your ascertainment of the likelihood of success.
The DFS industry can also take some clues from what has gone on with online gambling websites. In that sub-industry as well, there is no single piece of legislation that governs all states. And when the sites reach users outside of the United States, it gets even murkier.
It’s one thing if they did not accept money and if it was all for fun, but the challenges arise once mullah is involved. To make things even more difficult is the fact that legislation changes constantly and tends to shift depending on which political party is in office. It also matters what part of the country one is in because the Bible Belt in the South still have stricter standards than so the more liberal parts of the country.
“We’re going to battle and we’re going to win,” Fantasy Sports Trade Association president Paul Charchian said in his remarks at the January 2016 FSTA conference in Dallas. “We need to formally legalize fantasy play in 50 states.”
You can find ESPN’s constantly updated breakdown of the current DFS laws in all 50 states here!
Meanwhile, the only nationwide law in effect is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was passed in 2006 and makes it illegal for banks and other financial institutions to process transactions between US residents and gambling sites.
Though a lot of sites analyzed it to mean the US government online gambling to be illegal and stopped taking US customers as a result, others got creative and started working