DraftKings and FanDuel Legal States: Where Is DFS Allowed?
This page is your ultimate guide to playing daily fantasy sports for real money legally in the US. Check the up-to-date table below to see in which states DFS sites like DraftKings, FanDuel, Monkey Knife Fight, and PrizePicks are legal.
Daily fantasy sports have exploded in popularity in recent years all over the United States, but the legal situation for DFS is different depending on what state you’re in. Laws and regulations in each state change all the time so it can be confusing. This guide makes it really easy by telling you exactly which states DraftKings and FanDuel operate in.
In this article we’ll cover:
- An easy explanation of what daily fantasy sports are plus practical tips for how to successfully bet on daily fantasy sports.
- The overall legal situation for daily fantasy sports in the US.
- Which states offer legal daily fantasy sports and which don’t – where exactly DFS is legal.
State laws around daily fantasy sports betting are changing all the time and it can be hard to keep track of where DraftKings and FanDuel accept players. Make it easy on yourself and bookmark this page to get the most up-to-date and easy-to-follow info about daily fantasy sports betting and US fantasy sports betting sites.
- Where Can You Play on DraftKings and FanDuel?
- Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in the United States?
- FanDuel and DraftKings – Daily Fantasy Sports for Cash
- States That Currently Don’t Allow DraftKings or FanDuel
- New York
- What Is Daily Fantasy Sports?
- How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports?
- Daily Fantasy Sports FAQs
Where Can You Play on DraftKings and FanDuel?
DraftKings and FanDuel are the two most popular daily fantasy sports betting sites in the US.
We will explain more about the similarities and differences between them further down the page, but in this section, we are going to focus on the US states where betting real money on daily fantasy sports is legal.
For the full comparison of the two DFS sites check out “DraftKings vs FanDuel: Which DFS Site Is Better?“.
Fantasy sports gambling laws vary by state. This table doesn’t necessarily reflect whether DFS is explicitly legal in each state. It shows which states DraftKings and FanDuel have chosen to operate and accept players from.
It should be noted that when a state creates new laws on DFS, or takes a stance against it, DraftKings and FanDuel have both amicably agreed to stop operating there. In some cases, when the laws change for the better the DFS sites have been able to return to those states.
Map of DraftKings and FanDuel Legal States
List of DraftKings and FanDuel Legal States
Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in the United States?
The short answer is that playing daily fantasy sports, for free or real money, is available legally in the majority of states in the US. It’s also expected to become even more widely available in the months and years to come.
The long answer is a little more complicated. Daily fantasy sports sites in the US have surged in popularity in the last ten years – in large part filling the hole created by the federal ban on sports betting that was in place from 1992 to 2018.
DFS has existed in a legal grey area. The most common deciding factor on its legality is whether a state believes it to be predominantly a game of skill or a game of chance.
States that consider DFS betting to be skill-based are far more likely to also consider it to be legal. Jurisdictions that have found DFS to be more like gambling are the ones that have taken a position against it
As DFS betting grew in popularity, this led some states to introduce legislation designed to control and regulate sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. Others have decided to ban fantasy sports betting entirely.
However, over the years more states have moved towards a relaxed stance on betting on fantasy sports, especially after the federal ban on traditional sports betting was struck down in 2018.
Today, online fantasy sports betting is legal in 80% of US states, with legislation on the horizon for some of the remaining 10% too.
Check back on this page regularly for updates on the legal situation in each state.
FanDuel and DraftKings – Daily Fantasy Sports for Cash
Betting on fantasy sports in the US really comes down to two main options – DraftKings and FanDuel. Think of them as the Coke and Pepsi or the Apple and Android of DFS. There are other options but they’re nowhere near as good.
These two competitors are by far and away the biggest fantasy sports betting sites, and they both have far and away the best daily fantasy sports betting apps.
Both sites share a number of other similarities that make them the best choice for DFS players in the US.
DraftKings and FanDuel both have:
- The highest number of users in the US.
- The best bonuses and deals for new and existing users.
- Cutting-edge software on websites and apps.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel have also opened traditional sportsbooks in some states, meaning users who intend to play both daily fantasy games and bet on sports can use the same log-in and account for both, as long as both are legal in their state.
Ultimately there isn’t a huge difference between these two daily fantasy sports sites, but depending on your specific requirements you might find one to be a better fit than the other.
To get a comprehensive understanding of each site, check out our reviews before signing up. Each review comes with sign up links to get the most valuable bonus.
States That Currently Don’t Allow DraftKings or FanDuel
Daily fantasy sports are considered a form of gambling in Arizona, and are therefore illegal in the state. There are two ways that DFS could be legalized in Arizona. One is a change to the existing gaming compact, which currently allows exceptions like tribal casinos and horse racing. The other is a full-scale legalization of sports betting. Although a bill has been floated in the legislature, both options seem pretty far off for now.
Read also: Sports Betting in Arizona
Daily fantasy sportsbooks were operational in Hawaii until 2016, when local prosecutors decided that they breached gambling laws in the state. Historically, Hawaii has had some of the strictest laws around gambling in the US. In 2019 a bill was introduced which would both online sportsbooks and fantasy sports betting sites, but not much progress has been made. For now, no DFS sites are present in Hawaii.
Read also: Sports Betting in Hawaii
Betting on fantasy sports in Idaho was possible until 2016, when the Attorney General decided that the activity violated gambling laws in the state. DraftKings and FanDuel agreed to leave the state amicably and since then there has been no DFS activity. Idaho has shown little indication that it will change state laws surrounding either daily fantasy sports or sports betting in general.
Read also: Sports Betting in Idaho
Legal fantasy sports betting is just around the corner for Louisiana. In November 2019 residents of the Sugar State voted to relax fantasy sports gambling laws, in a move strongly supported by DraftKings and FanDuel. The next step came in the form of three bills filled in the legislature to determine the exact rules surrounding the games. Although there were some limited successes in the movement of the bills, sports betting was ultimately struck down in the 11th hour by a group of legislators determined to stop its passage.
Louisiana will have to wait for another push by legislators in the coming months and years, but for now, the Pelican State will be the only state in the South not offering DFS.
Read also: Sports Betting in Louisiana
Montana is in a curious position, as it is a state that is getting very close to legal sports betting but still prohibits betting on daily fantasy sports. Betting on sports officially became legal in Montana is May 2019, and various sportsbooks are preparing to launch once sports betting goes live. The bill does, in fact, allow for daily fantasy sports games, but only those run by the state lottery.
At the moment, the major daily fantasy sports sites are not present in Montana. However, the willingness of the state to legislate for sports betting can be considered a positive sign for the future of daily fantasy sports in the state, and we may see new legislation for DFS introduced in the coming years.
Read also: Sports Betting in Montana
In many states, daily fantasy sports sites operated with no trouble for a number of years before their popularity forced the state into deciding whether they should be allowed. This was the case in Nevada, where lawmakers declared that DFS is considered gambling in the state in 2015. Of course, gambling is legal in Nevada, but it does require a state gambling licence.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel pulled out of the state when this was announced. Representatives from both companies have since lobbied for a regulatory bill in Nevada, similar to other those introduced in other states. However, the Nevada legislature stood firm, and continued to ban daily fantasy sportsbooks from operating without a traditional gambling licence.
Read also: Sports Betting in Nevada
Washington has some of the strictest gambling laws in the US, and moved to clarify that fantasy sports betting was not exempt from them in 2016. However, there have been some attempts to relax the laws surrounding gambling since PASPA was overturned in May 2018. Two bills have been introduced in early 2019 which would permit some forms of quite restricted gambling. Neither passed, but it does indicate that the Evergreen State may be beginning to relax its hard-nosed stance towards gambling in general. For now, there are no daily fantasy sports sites in Washington.
Read also: Sports Betting in Washington
Daily Fantasy Sports in California
Even though California doesn’t have legal sports betting yet, it’s the largest market for DFS in the country. Both FanDuel and DraftKings are active in California today. The Golden State has historically been one of the more proactive in addressing the daily fantasy sports situation. Legislation designed to regulate fantasy sports was first proposed in 2015, and was passed by the California Assembly the following year. It never made it through the Senate, however, and betting on fantasy sports remains unregulated in the state.
Daily fantasy sports betting sites continue to operate with no problems in California however, confident due to the absence of any specific law making DFS illegal. There is little to suggest that daily fantasy sportsbooks will run into any problems operating in California in the near future, with the more likely change being the introduction of licensed and regulated fantasy sports betting.
For now though, FanDuel and DraftKings are both available to all residents of the Golden State despite being unregulated.
Read also: Sports Betting in California
Daily Fantasy Sports in Texas
Texas operates in a manner somewhat similar to California, in that fantasy sports betting is not explicitly legal but the major daily fantasy sports sites continue to operate in the state with relatively few problems. The history of DFS in Texas has been on the rocky side however. The issues started in 2016 when Attorney General Ken Paxton stated that he believed that betting on fantasy sports constituted a form of gambling.
Despite this opinion, both DraftKings and FanDuel cautiously continued to operate in the state initially, before FanDuel announced that they would cease operations for Texas residents. DraftKings on the other hand, continued to operate in the state and instead went to court to seek clarification over the laws surrounding daily fantasy sports. DraftKings continued to operate without issues over the next two years, cornering the market in the Lone Star State.
Eventually FanDuel made the decision to return to the state in 2018 after an 18-month absence, and both companies have operated there without problems since, despite the official opinion of the Governor General. 2019 has even seen the tentative introduction of a sports betting bill which would legalize both daily fantasy sports and sports betting in general, although that is likely to be a long way off.
Read also: Sports Betting in Texas
Daily Fantasy Sports in New York
Fantasy sports gambling laws are clearer in New York, where a 2016 law authorizes DFS and recognizes it as a game of skill. Since then, DraftKings and FanDuel have operated in the Empire State with no issues, although more recent events have cast some doubt on their future. In October 2018 the Supreme Court ruled that the 2016 legislation was unconstitutional.
Nevertheless, both DraftKings and FanDuel have cautiously continued to operate in the state, in the absence of any further legal directives. As well as an appeal to the Supreme Court about the 2018 decision, 2019 is likely to see another bill introduced to legalize sports betting in general, which would clear up any issues over daily fantasy sports. DFS continues to be available in New York either way.
Read also: Sports Betting in New York
Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa
After a bill to legalize sports betting was passed in May 2019, online fantasy sports made a glorious return to Iowa in November 2019. Both FanDuel and DraftKings made quick returns to Iowa and are no operating within state lines as well as every bordering state.
Read also: Sports Betting in Iowa
Daily Fantasy Sports in Florida
Florida has some of the more complicated barriers to achieving coherent fantasy sports gambling laws. As in many states, the biggest sticking point is whether fantasy sports betting should be considered gambling or a game of skill. The Attorney General’s opinion is not favourable – suggesting that he believes DFS are a form of gambling.
Gambling is theoretically largely banned in Florida, but in effect there are so many exceptions to the gambling laws, and compacts with native tribes, that many forms of gambling legally thrive in the state, such as dog racing and the lottery. The presence of so much bureaucratic red tape means that introducing new legislation to change individual laws is extremely difficult. As such, three daily fantasy sports bills were introduced in 2018, but none proved successful. It appears individual changes to gambling laws are too difficult to implement, and instead any change would have to address all aspects of the laws, including the existing tribal compacts.
Throughout this uncertainty, most daily fantasy sports sites have continued to operate in the Sunshine State. With no upcoming legislation to address the overall gambling question, the future remains unclear, but there is no suggestion the major DFS sites will leave the state.
Read also: Sports Betting in Florida
Daily Fantasy Sports in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania on the other hand is a model for how to legislate for daily fantasy sports. A number of daily fantasy sportsbooks had been operating successfully, but without regulation, in Pennsylvania until 2017, as lawmakers decided on the best course of action. In October of that year, a bill was passed to formally legalize DFS and in May 2018 fully legal and regulated fantasy sports was launched. All the major daily fantasy sites operate in the state, and tax revenue has been growing for PA month by month.
Read also: Sports Betting in Pennsylvania
Daily Fantasy Sports in Alabama
Right now, online fantasy sports betting is available in Alabama. Alabama has had some back and forth concerning whether DFS should be legal in AL culminating with the attorney general, Luther Strange declaring the activity illegal in 2016.
But that changed in 2019 when DFS was welcomed back into the Yellowhammer State after a contentious five-hour debate took place in the state legislature. As of now both FanDuel and DraftKings are operating within the state.
Read also: Sports Betting in Alabama
Daily Fantasy Sports in Nevada
Surprisingly, Nevada remains one of the few states that looks a long way off from legalizing daily fantasy sites. As we already discussed, DFS are considered a form of gambling in Nevada, which would require a state gambling licence. Without a licence, FanDuel and DraftKings have had no presence in Nevada since 2015.
Representatives from both took part in a Nevada Gaming Policy Committee the following year, and they have continued to lobby for a regulatory solution similar to other states. Lawmakers in Nevada have not budged however, and at the moment as long as daily fantasy sportsbooks do not have a licence, they will not be allowed to operate in the state.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Hawaii
As mentioned already, Hawaii is not close to legislating for daily fantasy sports betting. DFS are considered a form of gambling in the Aloha State, which has historically had some of the strictest gambling laws in the US.
What Is Daily Fantasy Sports?
Daily fantasy sports is a skill-based game where players select real-world sports players in their personal teams, which then receive points depending on how the players perform in real life. If your team performs well you can win money – somewhat similar to placing a traditional sports wager.
DFS is similar to old-school fantasy sports you might have played with friends, but instead of an on-running game of the course of the season, winners are paid out daily or weekly. Users can choose how much they want to bet, which determines how much they will win if they score high points.
Just like traditional fantasy sports games, you have a budget and a salary cap for selecting your players, with the best players costing the most money.
Daily fantasy games are available for tons of sports on DraftKings and FanDuel, such as:
Within all of these sports there are different types of games you can play – head-to-head games, public leagues, private leagues, free roll games, and loads more. How you win and how much you win depends on the type of game you choose.
Both of the major sites can be played on your laptop, but most people prefer to play on their mobiles these days, using fantasy sports betting apps.
How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports?
Like all forms of gambling, there are valuable tips and strategies for how to beat daily fantasy sports. In fact, betting on DFS has a lot in common with traditional sports betting. Nevertheless, there are also strategies that only apply to daily fantasy sports. Here we have collected our top tips to be regular winner on daily fantasy sports sites.
- Don’t choose your players too early – This might seem like a no-brainer but a surprising number of people choose their team at the earliest opportunity, and never think to edit it before the round begins. As a rule of thumb, you should always pick your players as close to the deadlines as possible. The later you leave it, the more information you will have. Avoiding last-minute injuries is a big reason for using this strategy. Depending on the sport, you might be able to see the official team announcement before a game, to ensure all your chosen players are on the roster.
- It’s all about form – This can be a tricky one to navigate but it’s important. Staying up to date on how players are performing is absolutely key to succeeding in daily fantasy sports. How many times can you think of a player going on a five-game hot streak at the start of the season or heating up during playoffs? Getting these players in and out of your team at the right time is crucial. A good rule is that if you have been avoiding selecting a player who has been playing well in recent weeks, causing his price to shoot up, avoid paying over the odds to draft them. Focus on projected form rather than past form.
- Keep an eye on the betting lines – Betting odds and lines can be a great guide for picking your players. Remember that sportsbooks rarely get their lines wrong, so using them for research gives you an idea of what the experts think will happen. For example, if you can’t choose between two hockey players you can check which one is shorter odds to score in their game. When drafting your players, betting lines can be a super useful reference point.
- Different strategies for different games – There are loads of different kinds of games available on FanDuel and DraftKings, and each one will require different strategies. For large pool games with lots of players, drafting big one-off scorers can be a good strategy. For games with fewer players, like one-on-one matches, statistically consistent and dependable players are more important. Consider the rules of the game before you choose your players.
- Choose your players based on analysis, not personal preference – Even though basically everyone betting on daily fantasy sports is first and foremost a sports fan, you need to leave your supporter’s hat at the door. In fact, the best possible opponent you can face is some newbie who has filled their roster with their favorite players. Forget about what you would like see happen in the games and focus on what you think will happen, and more importantly, what the data indicates will happen.
Daily Fantasy Sports FAQs
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Texas?
DFS is currently available to play for Texas residents. They are not explicitly legal, and not explicitly illegal either. After an 18 month absence from 2016, both FanDuel and DraftKings returned to operate in the state with no problems.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in New York?
The major daily fantasy sports sites are in operation in New York. Again, the legal situation is a little unclear. A 2016 bill regulated and legitimized DFS, but that bill was overruled by the Supreme Court in 2018. Nevertheless, DFS continues to be available without issues.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Ohio?
Yes. Daily fantasy sports are entirely legal and regulated in Ohio, and have been since a bill was passed in 2017.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Nevada?
No. Although there is no law explicitly making DFS illegal in Nevada, they are legally considered to be a form of gambling. This means daily fantasy sportsbooks would require a state gambling license to operate. For now, neither FanDuel nor DraftKings are available in the state.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in California?
Daily fantasy sports are available in California. Like many states, there is no specific legislation for DFS in California. That means the sites are available but the market is currently unregulated. Nevertheless, Sites like DraftKings and FanDuel have not been declared illegal in California, and continue to operate there without any problems.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Illinois?
Daily fantasy sports are available in Illinois. There has been no specific legislation for daily fantasy sports laws in the state. The Attorney General has voiced his opinion that DFS is a form of gambling but nevertheless, the major fantasy sportsbooks have stayed in Illinois with no issues.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Louisiana?
Almost. A bill has been passed which legalizes daily fantasy sports betting, and further bills that dictate the exact terms are currently being finalized. Daily fantasy sports may be legal in Louisiana in the very near future.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Arizona?
No. Betting on fantasy sports is legally considered a form of gambling in the state, and is therefore illegal. No major DFS companies are currently available in Arizona.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in North Carolina?
Daily fantasy sports are currently available in North Carolina. However, the push to legalize DFS took a hit in June 2019 when a bill failed to pass through the legislature. For now, daily fantasy sports games remain available to North Carolina residents but are unregulated.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Hawaii?
No. Daily fantasy sports are considered to be a form of gambling in Hawaii and are therefore illegal in the state. Fantasy sportsbooks operated there until 2016, and have since been absent from the Aloha State.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Alabama?
Yes. A June 2019 bill passed which legalized and regulated fantasy sports in Alabama. After the passage of contentious legislation, both DraftKings and FanDuel are up and running in the state once again.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Iowa?
Yes. Betting on fantasy sports is now allowed in Iowa since the passage of legislation in May 2019. Both DraftKings and FanDuel quickly returned to Iowa after the legislation.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Missouri?
Yes. Daily fantasy sports are legal and regulated in Missouri since the Missouri Fantasy Consumer Protection Act, passed in 2016.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Michigan?
The major daily fantasy sportsbooks continue to operate in Michigan with no issues, despite no specific laws relating to them. While the Michigan Gaming Control Board has suggested that DFS are not legal, the Attorney General has made no comment on the matter, and so daily fantasy sports remain available in an unregulated market in Michigan.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Kentucky?
Daily fantasy sports sites are available in Kentucky. Lawmakers have declined to determine whether DFS is legal or illegal in the state, but the major sites continue to operate with no problems.
Is daily fantasy sports legal in Canada?
DFS are available in Canada. As in many States, there is no specific legislation relating to betting on daily fantasy sports. As such, the major sites are available for Canadian residents.
How do daily fantasy sports work?
Daily fantasy sports are easy and fun to play. Playing DFS involves selecting or “drafting” your roster of real players and choosing how much cash you want to bet on the game.
Different DFS competitions have different rules but usually, your players don’t have to be on the same team, just in the league that you’re betting on.
Imagine that you’re a team owner and you have a salary cap on how much you can spend acquiring players. There are often different slots you have to draft depending on the sport, like offensive players and defensive positions in football.
Your team competes against other DFS players’ picks and you win money if your players perform better than the other teams in the competition. There are different kinds of competitions and you can play DFS with lots of major sports.
Basically, DFS sites like FanDuel and DraftKings have taken old-school fantasy sports games and updated them, complete with events happening every day to bet on, slick apps and websites, and millions of people to play against.
How do I sign up to play daily fantasy sports for cash?
Signing up for an account with DraftKings or FanDuel to bet on daily fantasy sports couldn’t be easier, as long as you live in a state where the site accepts players. You can download the site’s betting app or go to the website and select the option to “register” or “join”.
The signup process is fast and easy but you will need to provide the following information:
- Your email address
- Your date of birth
- Your full name
- Choose a screen name
- Choose a password
You may also need to provide your home address, and even some digits from your SSN depending on what state you’re signing up from.
Is it safe to play daily fantasy sports for real money?
Yes. As long as you are playing with a legal and reputable site such as FanDuel or DraftKings and you’re in a state where DFS is legal. In more and more states across the US, daily fantasy sports sites are licensed and subject to regulation. This means you can bet safely in the knowledge that your money, personal data, and privacy are all protected.
What are the best legal daily fantasy sports sites?
By far, the most popular daily fantasy sports sites are FanDuel and DraftKings. These two competitors have cornered the DFS market in the US, and both have really outstanding fantasy sports betting apps. For more information check out the comprehensive expert reviews on WSN.com.
Are daily fantasy sports gambling?
Whether DFS is gambling is a good question and it’s been debated extensively in states all across the US. Fantasy sports betting definitely has a lot in common with traditional sports gambling – you choose a stake that determines how much money you can win, and ultimately whether you win or lose comes down to what happens in the matches.
At the same time, a lot of people argue that there’s more skill in fantasy sports betting. It requires more analysis and research and there are more decisions to be made (a roster of players rather than one prediction or bet).
Furthermore, you are competing against other DFS players, not simply betting on events you have no control over. DFS supporters have argued as they try to secure legalization for daily fantasy sports sites in states where sports betting is not legal.
Are DFS games of skill or gambling? The truth is probably somewhere in between.
How do you play DraftKings or FanDuel in a restricted state?
Playing daily fantasy sports in a restricted state is against the site’s terms and conditions and we don’t recommend doing it. There are ways to access DFS sites from restricted states, but since it’s against the rules you can never be sure what repercussions you can face, or even if you will have access to your money after you deposit. If you live in a state where daily fantasy sports are not permitted, don’t use them.
Can you use a VPN for DraftKings or FanDuel?
As we said, there are loopholes that may help you to access daily fantasy sportsbooks from states where they are not legal. One of these is the use of VPNs. A VPN allows you to appear as though you are using your device from a different location – which tricks the daily fantasy site.
However, this does not make accessing the site legally. Using daily fantasy sports in a restricted state, even with a VPN, is still illegal. These days sportsbook apps are using location validating software to find out if you are where you say you are regardless of whether or not you are using a VPN to spoof your location.