Fantasy sports leagues have been around for some time but betting on them – notably through Daily Fantasy Sports games (more commonly known by the abbreviation DFS) – has only become particularly popular in recent years.
Fantasy Sports generally avoided the federal ban on sports betting in America, which ran between 1992 and 2018, because of a provision in the law that classed them as games of skill rather than games of chance.
But the States in which DFS sites operate constantly shifts according to prevailing attitudes of both operators and legislators.
In fact, rather than listing the States in which Fantasy Sports betting via DFS is legal, it is easier to name those where it has remained illegal.
It has always been considered illegal in Arizona, Iowa, Washington and Montana. Meanwhile, most DFS sites have also avoided operations in Alabama, Idaho, Hawaii and – unusually – betting-friendly Nevada due to unfavorable opinions of those States’ attorneys general.
In Fantasy Sports, players sign up for competitions in which they get to play ‘coach’ in their chosen sport – whether it’s rugby or Football, basketball or soccer, and select real players to assemble their fantasy squad.
Real-game statistics are then used to rate players’ performances. Whichever fantasy manager has selected the best-performing overall side over a matchday weekend wins a prize, with bigger prizes based on performances across a league season.
Often, there are limits on the number of players that can be selected from a given real-life team or in a given position. Sometimes, players have imaginary ‘budgets’ to spend on selecting their sides, with players assigned a value based on their popularity in the real world.