Fantasy sports have become a top choice for wagering online in the USA, and the majority of states in the country will allow this form of betting. Wagering on fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports is not considered a form of sports betting, so it has been legal for quite some time. At this point, Montana is the only state in the entire country that has laws prohibiting fantasy gaming online. Since fantasy sports are not covered under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, it is completely legal to engage in this type of betting online.
Not only do most states allow you to access US-based and international daily fantasy sports sites, but some have also incorporated fantasy sports into their state lottery. Massachusetts is one such state after its governors introduced a law in 2015 that would allow the lottery to run online fantasy games daily.
What is Fantasy Sports Betting?
Before you start looking for the best U.S. fantasy sports sites, you’ll want to learn more about what it actually means to bet on fantasy sports. A fantasy sport is an online game that allows you to create virtual teams consisted of real players from various professional leagues and sports. The teams you create will compete and points earned based on their statistical performance in real games played. The goal is to accumulate enough points to win competitions and tournaments for cash payouts.
Fantasy sports go back some time, with the first fantasy baseball league starting in 1960 in Boston. This was followed by a fantasy football league that was formed in 1963. The league was referred to as the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League, which is still active today, and there were eight teams involved. Over the years, fantasy sports became quite popular, and today you can find endless options when you want to engage in online betting on any fantasy sport.
It wasn’t until 2007 that a new form of fantasy sports betting emerged. Daily fantasy sports contests were still in their infancy at the time, and these contests are run for shorter periods of time. These are great for those who do not wish to commit to an entire season. With daily fantasy sports betting, you can find games and contests that last a day or a week, so you are not tied down as you are with traditional fantasy sports wagering.
There have been two federal legislations that have had an impact on fantasy sports in the United States: The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 and the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The former prohibited residents from placing any bets over the phone. It was later found to also apply to online communications and wagers. The other legislation is the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which was passed in 1993. This Act made wagering on sports illegal throughout the U.S., with the exception of sports betting in Nevada and sports lotteries run in Delaware.
Both of these federal legislations had the ability to prevent fantasy sports, but this form of wagering was never challenged under either Act. The Wire Act only applies to games of chance, which fantasy sports do not fall under. Since fantasy sports betting is not considered gambling, it is not affected by PASPA, either. In fact, a number of professional sports leagues in the U.S. will host fantasy games on their own sites.
It was believed fantasy sports would also be affected by the Uniform Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which made all forms of gambling over the internet difficult. The UIGEA included an exception for fantasy sports, as long as operators meet three requirements. These include:
- Value of any prize will not depend on the number of players involved
- The outcome of events is determined solely by fantasy sports player knowledge and skill, and will be based on statistics of real-world players
- The outcome will not be determined by any score of a game on one single player’s performance
DFS State Legislation
When it comes to determining what activities are considered gambling, individual states maintain much control. Most states do not even address fantasy sports in their state laws. There are just two states that have statutes: Maryland and Montana. Maryland enacted laws in 2012 that would exempt fantasy sports from state gaming laws. Montana legalized fantasy sports in 2007 but prohibited people from wagering online or over the phone.
Since no individual state had any statute that would clarify the law, most relied on court precedent, public statements and general opinions from the attorney general. Generally, if the amount of skill will outweigh the chance of success, the particular activity is not considered a form of gambling. FanDuel and DraftKings, two of the largest fantasy sports operators, state fantasy sports do rely on the skills of those competing in events and they are not games of chance.
There are some states that have not taken any stance on the legality of fantasy sports. Four states in the U.S.—Arizona, Louisiana, Washington, and Iowa—are prohibited from fantasy sports sites because there is so much uncertainty in the states regarding the legality of fantasy sports and determining whether it is a form of gambling. These four states have worked to clarify laws that would allow residents the ability to engage in fantasy sports play. Montana is another state that has introduced legislation to remove the prohibition of online fantasy play, but none of these bills have passed at this time.
Certain states have specific laws pertaining to fantasy sports, including Indiana, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. These states allow casinos and lotteries to offer daily fantasy games. Texas has also taken action and introduced legislation that requires sports betting sites to obtain a license before they are able to offer any online services.
Best Fantasy Sports Betting Sites in the US
Now that you understand betting on daily fantasy sports is legal in the United States, you’ll want to find the best sites to start wagering. There are many options that are supported as you do not have to access sites that are based in the U.S.. You do have the option to engage in wagering at offshore betting sites as well. However, if you’re looking for the safest experience and want to make sure you have usable payment methods, you will want to turn your attention to U.S.-based betting sites.
The daily fantasy sports industry continues to grow in the U.S., and you’ll find even more people interested in online wagering as states begin legalizing online sportsbooks. If you want to join the huge community of fantasy sports bettors, be sure to check out our recommended sites listed below. These all offer safe and secure access, great payout opportunities, special bonuses and incentives, as well as trusted banking options:
- FanDuel is perhaps the largest and most trusted daily fantasy sports betting site operating, where you can legally place bets and start to win payouts. This DFS site has a large base of members and the highest number of competitions to choose from, so you will have some of the best chances at winning. Since many people are just getting started with daily fantasy sports, FanDuel offers a novice league, which is beneficial if you are new to this type of betting. There are also amazing tournaments and head-to-head competitions that are supported. One thing that makes FanDuel stand out is the offering of guaranteed prize pool tournaments, where you will know exactly how much you can win when you enter. Get ready to engage in legal fantasy sports betting in the U.S., and create your FanDuel account today.
- DraftKings is the main competitor to FanDuel, and this betting site has attracted the attention of thousands across the United States. It does not offer as many competitions as FanDuel, but it is a leading sponsor of many MLB and NFL clubs, so you can be sure you’ll enjoy great competitions in these sports. DraftKings is best known for offering an expanded fantasy budget. With this, you can draft an additional position. The additional scoring rules in place also make DraftKings a top choice. While these two factors will surely change your draft strategies, they’ll also lead to larger fantasy point totals than you find with FanDuel.
- StarsDraft is a DFS site that is powered by Amaya Gaming and is from the creators of PokerStars. The main feature you will find at this site is the Victron function. StarsDraft took over Victiv gaming, so you will find newer software and some innovative features that are not offered with other betting sites. With this function, you can adjust statistics to help with player selections, and you will be able to choose what stats are more important when customizing your roster.
How to Select the Best Fantasy Sports Sites
Before you jump in and start risking money, you will want to compare different fantasy sports sites to see exactly what is offered. There are a number of things to consider before you create an account online, and you should first make sure fantasy sports wagering is allowed in your state. After this, you can start to review the top-rated sites that cater to U.S. bettors, and you will find some amazing options available.
One thing to consider is the coverage of sports. If you are looking to enjoy the thrills of fantasy football, basketball, baseball or football, you will not have much to worry about. The majority of sites will always cover these sports. However, if you are looking for other sports, you may have to shop around. If you are seeking fantasy golf, you will only find this offered at DraftKings, StarsDraft and DraftDay. NASCAR fantasy sports contests are only covered at DraftKings, and there are no other sites that currently cover this market. DraftKings is also a great choice for fantasy soccer and mixed martial arts.
You will also want to compare the number of contests that are offered, as well as the different tournaments, as these can vary from site to site. Essentially, when you join a site that has a higher number of members, you can win more in return, but the competition will be stiff as many more people are collecting points from their created rosters. If you’re a beginner, FanDuel is your best bet as this site has many novice competitions, so you can take time to learn the ropes of fantasy sports while still being able to earn payouts along the way.
You should also take a look at the bonuses and promotions offered at each site. Most will provide a welcome bonus when you register and make your first deposit, so you will want to find the bonus with the best value and the fewest requirements in place. It is also beneficial to preview the Promotions page of various sites to see what types of ongoing offers are presented. The more bonuses offered, the more you can earn, presenting you with additional chances to enter contests and tournaments for cash payouts.
If you are a resident of the US, you will have the ability to legally play at fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports sites. The only exception is in Montana, as mentioned above. With some sites operating and offering great market coverage with exciting contests, you will be able to find a fantasy sports site to meet all your needs. You won’t have to worry about any legal issues, as this is not considered to be a form of gambling per U.S. laws.
Get ready to create your own roster and compete against others for your chance to walk away with big payouts with leading fantasy sports sites in the U.S..