The NCSL Blog

20

By Jonathan Griffin

It may not be fourth and long for daily fantasy sports sites, but it's safe to say they can sense a blitz coming.

Last week, Nevada’s Gaming Control Board made it illegal to operate daily fantasy sports (DFS) without a license. 

According to a news release on its website, after a months-long investigation into the legality of DFS, Nevada determined DFS constitutes gambling under state law. Furthermore, the state determined DFS also constitutes a sports pool under its statutes.

As such, Nevada suspended all DFS play in the state until the companies that operate these sites—notably DraftKings and FanDuel, along with a number of smaller sites—obtain a license in Nevada. 

Neither DraftKings nor FanDuel have indicated a desire to be licensed in the state and have suspended operations. 

In case you haven't been exposed to the barrage of fantasy site commercials, the websites allow players to fill their team with players they believe will perform well in the day’s NFL, MLB or NBA games, along with many other sports. These games typically cost an entry fee. The sites advertise seven-figure payouts and their ads are filled with testimonials from happy winners.

The scrutiny on DFS isn’t limited to just Nevada. 

Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, New York and other states are all taking a closer look at daily fantasy sports and many are asking their attorneys general to investigate the legality of DFS play. The Department of Justice and the FBI are also working to determine if DFS qualifies under the fantasy sports exemption of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act.

Fortune reported that entries on the major DFS sites declined last week.

Jonathan Griffin is a senior policy specialist who covers gambling issues for NCSL.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.