With the temperatures on the rise on the tormented world of daily fantasy sports, owners and players are experiencing difficulties telling where and when the next hammer will hit. From such accusations as “Illegal gambling” to “unfavorable playing terms,” it is apparent that mega daily fantasy sports companies including DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. will be eating humble pie in the coming days.
The Rise of Daily Fantasy Sports
The daily fantasy sports world developed out of the dying online poker. Besides the promises of quick and fast payouts and a life without the 9-to-5 struggles, signing up was the simplest part. The infamous Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in 2006 not only marked the death of several online poker sites but the eminent rise of what is now facing the same axe. Unsurprisingly, Internet poker was finally closed down in 2011 while daily fantasy sports weren’t.
Over the next few years, many gaming entrepreneurs started their daily fantasy companies albeit they made little attempts to hide their relations with online poker. Back then, the companies were relatively small enough to attract the eyes of the authorities. Following the immense success and a lot of active players today, however, the authorities are seeking to tame the success of these firms.
States Banning Daily Fantasy Sports As Of October 2015
While the rest of the world was celebrating the X-mass Eve, daily fantasy sports players in Illinois, as well as the owners of the top daily fantasy sports companies, were swallowing the bitter news. They had been banned from operating with their license revoked. Recently, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin officially banned daily fantasy sports, terming it an illegal form of gambling in the state. But aside from the two most recent announcements, where else is playing daily fantasy sports a rarity today?
- Alabama banned some of the daily fantasy sports firms including FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo, FantasyDraft, Fantasy Feud, Fantasy Aces, and Draft Ops. After massive losses, there was a major uproar across this state. The authorities eventually illegalized these firms from operating, terming their business illegal gambling. Their calls for reassessing the ban as the game were more of skill than gambling weren’t enough to overturn the ruling.
- In Alaska, top fantasy sports firms including FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo, FantasyDraft, Fantasy Feud, Fantasy Aces, and Draft Ops aren’t allowed to operate. After an F.B.I investigation in which players and lawmakers revealed allegations of predacious tactics, the ensuing debate eventually led to two leading daily fantasy sports sites getting banned from taking bets.
- Arkansas highly prohibits top daily fantasy sports sites from operating in their state. Besides the two, FantasyDraft, Fantasy Feud, and Draft Ops aren’t allowed to take bets as their business comprises illegal gambling.
- Delaware is another state restricting ‘illegal gambling” offered by FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo, FantasyDraft, Fantasy Feud, Fantasy Aces, and Draft Ops.
- Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri also prohibit top fantasy sports firms including FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo, FantasyDraft, Fantasy Feud, Fantasy Aces, and Draft Ops from operating within their state. Players are blocked only because the firms’ activities do not conform to use of skills to win but rather illegal gambling that required licensure.
- It is primarily in New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont that FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo, FantasyDraft, Fantasy Feud, Fantasy Aces, and Draft Ops have been banned. The ban is majorly because many people are losing money and the fact that the popularity of this activity is growing each day. Additionally, top fantasy sports firms are seen as illegal as they are operating illegal gambling.
- Of all the states in the US, it is important to note that Washington D.C., Nevada, Montana, Iowa, Louisiana, and Arizona are the only states that not only allow these fantasy sports firms to roam freely but also players to place their bets.
The laws monitoring operations of the game and participations of the game are entirely different. Where DraftKings is banned means that players from that state aren’t allowed to play and not that the site isn’t permitted in that particular state. It is entirely similar to the different fantasy sports firms in various states where they are banned for players. However, the decision to prohibit a state from playing lies with the state’s authorities.
Following the massive bans, Boston-based Draft-Kings and New York’s FanDuel teamed up to fight the ruling. In each of the affected states, a joint lobbying effort that included hired a team of successful attorneys was formed. Far from this, other states including California, Maryland, Florida, and Pennsylvania were still looking at the issue.
It will remain to be seen how the entire issue will be handled in the coming days. Some states like Nevada have requested the companies to find proper operating licenses. Meanwhile, the adverts will still rock the TV screens and players will keep playing.
Let me know what you think.