DFS, or daily fantasy sports, is a rapidly growing subcategory of fantasy sports. Multiple companies, such as DraftKings, now host DFS contests and tournaments that participants can make money from. So, where is DFS legal?

Where is DFS Legal

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What Countries Are DFS Legal?

DFS, or daily fantasy sports, is a rapidly growing subcategory of fantasy sports. Multiple companies, such as DraftKings, now host DFS contests and tournaments that participants can make money from. So, where is DFS legal?

DFS is fairly new, so many things about it are in flux and changing, such as the introduction of esports DFS. Its youth, coupled with the fact it takes elements from sports betting and gambling, has caused DFS to be illegal in some countries. Whether people can legally take part in it often depends on where they’re located.

The answer to where is dfs legal in different countries is a little complicated. Unlike the U.S the majority of DFS play in the rest of the world is geared to soccer. Countries that allow daily fantasy sports also differ as they each have different sets of laws that regulate it to a variety of degrees.

There are a great many European countries where DFS is legal. These include big markets like the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain. However, even smaller countries like Croatia, Greece, Poland and more have legalized DFS. Some European countries that haven’t include Switzerland, Ukraine, Belarus, and Macedonia.

So, outside of Europe what is DFS legal? Some notable answers to that would be Canada, Australia, Mexico and Israel.

It should be noted that countries outside the U.S. may not allow the use of American based sites like DraftKings, as some have their own national services.

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European Countries that allow Daily Fantasy Sports & Regulations

Regulation TypeContries
Not Regulated / Not considered GamblingAustria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden
Regulated with Gambling LicenseBelgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia
Regulated with Special National LicenseDenmark, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom

Asian Countries that allow Daily Fantasy Sports & Regulations

Regulation TypeCountries
Not Regulated / Not considered GamblingChina, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Vietnam
Regulated with Gambling LicenseAustralia, Russia, Philippines, Thailand
Regulated with Special National LicenseBangladesh, Bruni, Kuwait, Lebanon, UAE

American Countries that allow Daily Fantasy Sports

Regulation TypeCountries
Legal / RegulatedCanada, Guadeloupe, USA (43 states), Argentina (some regions).
Not Regulated / Not considered GamblingAruba, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.
Not LegalAnguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Uruguay.

Which States in the USA Allow DFS (DrafKings)?

DFS is fairly new, so many things about it are in flux and changing, such as the introduction of esports DFS. Its youth, coupled with the fact it takes elements from sports betting and gambling, has caused DFS to be illegal in some states. Whether people can legally take part in it often depends on where they’re located.

The good news for interested individuals is that the majority of states in America have made DFS legal. DraftKings is legal in 43 states. DraftKings has increased its operations significantly as of late, expanding access to its sportsbook to 13 more states two years ago.

Now, even though it’s legal in 43 states, that doesn’t mean things are perfectly smooth. Some states that allow daily fantasy sports, like New York, have had legal controversies with DFS in the past that have left the picture a little murky. Still, as of now, there’s no law prohibiting it in those states, so participants can play on.

While there are still some legal gray areas regarding DFS and DFS sites like DraftKings, the overall picture seems to indicate DFS will become more accepted. There will probably be some roadblocks down the line, but it does seem that DFS will eventually be accepted nationwide.


Which States Don’t Allow DFS?

So, which states have made DFS illegal? The seven that have banned DraftKings DFS services are Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona and Louisiana. Of the seven, the most strict about DFS are Arizona, Washington, Idaho, and Hawaii.

The other three have interesting situations. Nevada deemed DFS to be a form of gambling, and as such, banned companies from operating without a license. Predictably, this turned off all DFS sites, including DraftKings.

Montana considers DFS to be illegal with the exception of contests run by the state lottery. This suggests that the state could be open to legalizing DFS in the future. Of course, it also means they probably want a bigger slice of the pie, potentially discouraging operators.

Louisiana is the most likely of the states that have banned DFS to change its stance. In fact, it arguably already has many parishes that have pushed for its legalization. Now, it’s just a matter of establishing additional regulations before sites like DraftKings esports can come to the state.

DFS Regulation in USA

 Countries
DFS is availableAlaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming
DFS pending regulationCalifornia, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconson
DFS NOT availableAlabama, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont

Legal Aspects of Daily Fantasy Sports

As one could probably guess, given the relative youth of Daily Fantasy Sports, there’s a lot of debate over its legal aspects. The biggest debate is whether it constitutes and should be grouped with sports gambling. This point of contention has had the most impact of where DFS is legal.

As stated earlier, Nevada is one such state that has decided DFS is sports gambling, and put it under the same regulations. The argument for why it shouldn’t be considered gambling is that the fantasy aspect involves skill, such as knowledge of the sport or esports, and analysis of which players are the best option for a team.

However, the argument that it is sports gambling is that it’s still ultimately based on luck. The performance of a player has significant variance over games, and unlike other fantasy sports, contests don’t take place throughout a season.

Whereas traditional fantasy leagues allow players to drop and acquire other players over the course of a season, DFS happens much quicker, eliminating that opportunity. While a player’s performance is usually consistent in a season, predicting the performance of a player over one game has much more to do with luck than skill.

The debate is still active, and there will likely be no consensus anytime soon. Still, the momentum of DFS can’t be denied, and while its potential classification as sports gambling may change things, DFS will continue to move forward. Places where DFS is legal should only increase with time.

Where is DFS Legal

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Recent Changes In Daily Fantasy Sports

Some changes have been made by companies like DraftKings to make DFS more favorable in the eyes of the law. For example, DraftKings’ addition of legal sportsbooks to their fantasy services have allowed them to expand their services and capabilities.

This should further legitimize DFS, and more states and countries will legalize DFS if more changes like this occur. While lawmakers still influence what happens to DFS next, the ball is mostly in the court of the companies and the future changes they’ll make.