Legal Daily Fantasy Sites

There’s been a lot of buzz about whether or not Daily Fantasy Sites are legal. Some states say that they are without a doubt a form of sports betting. Others say they’re games of skill rather than chance and shouldn’t be counted as a form of gambling. With a lack of legislation across most of the country, it’s hard to classify them as anything except legal daily fantasy sites, because there’s technically nothing on a national level to say otherwise.

There have been quite a few developments in the DFS world. To date, twelve states have passed legislation that regulates daily fantasy sports. In those states, it doesn’t matter what site you use, they’re all legal daily fantasy sites. Other states are still trying to pass their legislation. Until formal laws are put in place, though, DFS remains in a gray area. Because of this, legal daily fantasy sites can operate, but might be kicked out at any time, like FanDuel in Texas.

And then there are the states where Attorney Generals have given an opinion that DFS is illegal gambling, but lawmakers have decided that they aren’t going to do anything about it. In states like those, Georgia, for example, daily fantasy sports aren’t technically legal or illegal. So it’s up to the site whether or not they accept residents from the state. In most cases, sites will accept residents until an actual law that prohibits them from doing so is passed.

Are Daily Fantasy Sports Games Legal?

Daily Fantasy Sports Games are legal on a federal level. That’s because there are no laws preventing the use of daily fantasy sites. Where sports betting, casinos, and poker rooms are relegated to overseas companies by certain federal laws, Daily Fantasy Sports are exempted from such restrictions. US-based companies can offer paid-entry Daily Fantasy Sports everywhere in the country without federal interference at legal daily fantasy sites. That being said, states can prohibit residents from using Daily Fantasy Sports by passing their own laws.

More: Is Online Sports Betting Legal?

Have Any States Banned DFS?

Most states do not have any legislation on DFS, making it hard to know if a Daily Fantasy Site is legal or not. There are several states that have banned DFS, though. 10 states, to be exact. Some have put an all-out ban on DFS, refusing to allow operators of any sites within their states. Others have only had their Attorney General’s issue an opinion on whether or not DFS is legal and left it at that, leaving it up to the DFS operators to offer residents of those states opportunities or not. Below is the list of states with full bans, as well as those states that might not have access to a certain DFS operator.

  • Alabama (full ban currently, but has legislation that might change this in 2017)
  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Washington
  • Texas (No FanDuel)
  • Florida (No Yahoo! DFS)
  • Missouri (No Yahoo! DFS)
The Basics On How DFS Sites Operate

When it comes to the basics of how DFS sites operate, there are very few things you need to know. First, all DFS sites make money by raking (rake = house take) the prize pool and not the entry fee. What that means is if there's a contest that pays $100 in prizes and the entry fee is $10 there will be 11 or 12 contestants battling it out.

Daily sites offer a wide range of games and formats. No two sites are alike in that respect. The main thing to understand about how DFS sites operate is how you can gain an advantage. By raking the pool and not the entry players can take advantage of overlay (the amount of guaranteed money the pool is short in entries). Law requires that all tournaments guarantee the prize pool before that contest opens for registration.

Example: a site is running a $100,000 GDP (guaranteed prize pool) contest for a $10 entry fee and the max number of players possible for that contest is 11,000. However, 5 minutes before the scheduled start time there is only 7,489 entries. That means that there is $35,000 of free money in the prize pool and 32% of the field is dead. This greatly increases your implied ROI and puts you that much closer to cashing from the start.

How To Get Started Playing DFS

You can play DFS for free and for real money. In order to create a free account, all you need is an email and you’ve got an account. When you want to start playing for real money, though, you’ll have to make a deposit to the site. Most legal daily fantasy sites take major credit cards, but also provide other banking options like PayPal for those who don’t want to use their cards. Deposits can be made at any time. If you end up winning a contest, your account will be credited with the appropriate funds. Winnings can be used to enter new games, or they can be withdrawn immediately.

Is There Life Outside Of DraftKings-FanDuel?

While you might think that DraftKings and FanDuel are the only two daily fantasy sports sites, there are actually quite a few available around the country. These two are just the ones that spend the most on marketing and have actual sponsorship deals with leagues like the NFL. Below, we’ve put together a review of a number of different DFS sites available to US players, so that you can see that there is life outside of DraftKings and FanDuel.

The Best DFS Sites That Are Legal

DraftKings

DraftKingsThere’s a reason the word King is in the title of this legal daily fantasy site. DraftKings offers you more contests, more sports, and more opportunities than any other DFS site. You’ll be able to put teams together on everything from NFL to Nascar, PGA to MMA. When you first sign up for a DraftKings account, they’ll give you a pass for one free entry into a fantasy sports contest.

Their mobile app is one of the best in the business. DraftKings allows you to set up your league and invite friends from your phone, as well as track your lineup and how your team is doing through their league leaderboards section. You don’t have to sign up for a season-long commitment. DraftKings has the largest selection of 1-day fantasy sports competitions. Sign up today and start playing your favorite games.

FanDuel

FanDuelWant to start playing fantasy sports, but not quite sure if you’re ready to risk real money? Why don’t you try out FanDuel? They have just as many free contests as they do paid-entry contests. You can build up your skill and train until you’re ready to bet real money. Still unsure? FanDuel offers a risk-free way to play their paid-entry contests.

For first time paid-entry players, FanDuel will credit the full amount of your entry fee if you don’t win your first contest. This win-win offer is perfect for anyone looking to get started in online fantasy contests. FanDuel covers all of the major sports, like NFL, MLB, and now even WNBA. There’s nothing you can’t do at FanDuel. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now.

StarsDraft

StarsDraftStarsDraft is a Texas-based legal daily fantasy site that offers players a nice selection of daily fantasy sports contests. This site is owned by Amaya, a technology company that also owns accredited online gaming sites. StarsDraft offers its players a welcome bonus of up to $250, matching 100% of your first deposit.

When you sign up for StarsDraft, you instantly become a part of their loyalty program. You can earn cash rewards, free contest access, and other great benefits, just for playing the games you love. There are different tiers to the program, and the more points you earn the higher you go in standing. StarsDraft is a great player-centric DFS site that values its customers above all else.

FantasyDraft

FantasyDraftIf you’re looking for a legal daily fantasy site that puts its players first and has contests for NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, and the PGA Tour, then look no further than FantasyDraft. This DFS site has lower contest fees than any other site and a higher percentage of players getting paid. What could be better than that?

When you sign up for FantasyDraft, you can play in their free contests or the paid-entry competitions. You have the ability to play against professional athletes at this site, with no season-long commitments and no hidden fees. This site is perfect for anyone who just wants to get down to a good old-fashioned round of fantasy sports.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy

Yahoo Daily FantasyYahoo is one of the biggest names in fantasy sports, and they now one of the biggest names in DFS, as well. Yahoo daily fantasy allows players to join one-day or multi-day contests with the ability to earn large cash prizes. You can play all of the sports you want, from MLB to NFL to Soccer. Yahoo has it all. And now, when you first sign up, you can earn up to 1,000 yahoo sports rewards points just for making a deposit.

More points equal more contests that you can enter without paying an entry fee. Once you’ve funded your account, Yahoo’s site is pretty easy to navigate. All of the daily competitions will be listed on their home page for you to choose from. They have tabs that let you keep track of your account, your contests, and so much more. Sign up today and start earning rewards points on your Yahoo daily fantasy account.

Sports Available For Daily Games At These Sites

When it comes to the sports available for daily games at these DFS sites, the selection depends entirely on which site you’re using. All of the legal Daily Fantasy Sites recommended on this page will allow you to play NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL fantasy. Most will also have fantasy PGA contests available (Yahoo Daily Fantasy doesn’t have PGA). Now, if you’re looking for Soccer coverage – both MLS and EPL – then the only site that covers both is DraftKings. Yahoo Daily Fantasy has MLS, and FanDuel has EPL and UCL soccer. Only DraftKings has fantasy contests on Nascar, MMA, and eSports. FanDuel is working on bringing eSports DFS to their site soon.

Types Of Games Offered At DFS Sites

There are a number of different contests offered at DFS sites. These are the most popular ones available at most of the legal daily fantasy sites available to US players. Each site is a little different and may offer more options than this.

Salary Cap League – You must build your team with a virtual salary cap. The salary is limited, so you have to choose the best players for the best prices. This is done so people don’t just draft a team full of superstars. You have to find the perfect balance of underrated players and guaranteed performers to be able to win.

50/50’s – the top half of the league takes home double the entrance fee. The bottom half of the league walks away empty handed.

Achievement Goals and Predictions – set a goal for each player on your team. The more goals that are met, the more points you earn. For predictions, you draft a number of players in the same position (i.e. 4 QBs or 2 RBs). They have to perform better than they are predicted to perform in order for you to earn points.

Snake Drafts – Also known as an “s” draft, each person takes a turn drafting a player. Once a player is drafted, he is taken off the board, so only one player can have him. While this is more like a traditional season long fantasy drafting, it is very rare to find at a DFS site. You can play with or without a salary cap.

Survivor – a contest played over several days or weeks. If you’re playing over days, you draft a new team every day, and if you’re playing over weeks, you draft a new team every week. The lowest-performing team is cut before each new draft until there’s just one person left at the end of the competition.

Do Daily Fantasy Sports Sites Have Mobile Apps?

It really depends on the site that you’re using. Some legal daily fantasy sites have mobile apps. The big ones, like Yahoo Fantasy Sports, FanDuel, and DraftKings, have apps that are compatible with both Android and Apple products. Smaller sites, like StarsDraft, do not have mobile apps. It really just depends on which site you try to use.

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