Is Daily Fantasy Football Legal?

Is Daily Fantasy Football Legal

Daily fantasy sports have made headlines due to controversies over legality. Some opponents claim there is little difference between activities like daily fantasy football and casino gambling. Others say the laws that forbid online gambling don’t pertain to this kind of gaming due to the skill it requires.

The fact that this is a legal gray area makes the legitimacy of daily fantasy sports somewhat confusing. Here are a few pointers that could help you stay on the right side of the law and respond to any allegations that might arise.

Online Gambling and Federal Law

The main body of federal law that deals with online gaming can be found within the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or UIGEA. In essence, this 2006 legislation forbids any company whose business involves betting and wagering from knowingly accepting funds connected with any individual’s participation in illegal online gambling.

What the Rules Say About Daily Fantasy Sports

Notably, the UIGEA makes exceptions for fantasy sports. To stay legal, games have to meet all three of the following standards:

1. Winning outcomes must not be based on scores, point spreads, or the performances of single real-world teams or combinations of real-world teams. They also can not be based on individual performances by specific athletes.

2. Winning outcomes should be based on the knowledge and skill of participants and be decided mainly by accumulated statistical results from multiple events, such as sports games.

3. Any prizes or awards offered to winners must be decided and publicized before a game begins. In other words, prize values can not be based on participant numbers or buy-in fees.

So what does this mean for daily fantasy football? For one thing, it makes contests illegal during events like the Super Bowl and NCAA National Championships because outcomes determined by individual events are illegal. Other forms of gaming that violate the rules or function similarly to betting may also be deemed unacceptable.

Daily Fantasy Football in Florida

In addition to being bound by national laws like UIGEA, states, municipalities, and cities all retain the right to enact their own legislation governing online gaming. While the vast majority of states have no specific rules for or against the practice, the legal landscape may be changing in Florida.

Doubts about the legality of fantasy sports organizations that involve participant entry fees date back to 1991. At that time, the Florida attorney general declared that these leagues were indeed against the law.

Daily fantasy sports lovers started to be hopeful in late 2015 when the Fantasy Contest Amusement Act was filed as Senate Bill 832 with the intention of explicitly legalizing certain fantasy sports. The bill passed through a subcommittee in February 2016. Even if it becomes law, however, it will include provisions that require contest operators to secure official licenses and create a new regulatory bureau to govern fantasy gaming. It remains unclear whether such an agency might implement fines for improper gaming or punish players who break its rules.

How Does Clark Hartpence Law Help Fantasy Sports Participants?

Fantasy sports legislation is complex and open to interpretation. Floridians who decide to operate contests may face allegations of wrongdoing, and some participants could be held liable for technical violations of the law.

Contact us for a consultation about your rights, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.