Idaho Latest State to Take Stand Versus DFS
Several U.S. states have paused to take a look at their own laws to see what their stance is on daily fantasy sports. A handful have found that their state either has direct laws against games of skill and/or online gambling, while others have deferred to old opinions of state attorney generals. Idaho joins the former group.
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Idaho Denies DFS
Per reports, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden made it known that leading DFS operators – DraftKings and FanDuel – have agreed to stop actively accepting payments from customers in the state.
Wasden came to the conclusion that daily fantasy sports is considered illegal gambling per Idaho state law, with the state’s Constitution banning any gambling outside of the state lottery, parimutuel betting and bingo/raffle type games.
“Idaho defines gambling, in part, as risking money or other thing of value for gain that is contingent in whole or part upon chance or the outcome of an event, including a sporting event. My concern is that the daily fantasy sports offerings my office reviewed require participants to risk money for a cash prize contingent upon individual athletes’ collective performances in various future sporting events. As I see it, this falls within Idaho’s definition of gambling.”
Wasden is said to have begun taking a closer look at DFS operations and legality concerns in January. After three months of negotiations with DraftKings and FanDuel, the two companies agreed to block Idaho residents from their games, effective May 1st.
Per the agreement, the DFS operators will use a geo-blocking technology to deny Idaho players to deposit or play for money, although the sites will allow users to withdraw any money already in their accounts.
Idaho’s ruling follows that of New York and Alabama, both of which saw DraftKings and FanDuel temporarily concede defeat and pull out of the states. Alabama’s exit came last week for the two leading DFS operators and also came into full effect on May 1st for Alabama residents wishing to play online DFS games.
While DFS hits another wall with yet another state making an official ruling, the halt has come mostly due to opinions from attorney generals or flawed legislation. It still remains possible for DraftKings and FanDuel to fight back with the notion of their games being a “game of skill” rather than a “game of chance” backing them up.
DK and FD also have recent successes on their side, as several states have not taken action to make DFS illegal, while the likes of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, Maryland and Kansas have all ruled DFS to be legal.
DFS is officially out of Idaho for the time being, but the recent agreement sprung by the companies and the state suggest daily fantasy sports could re-enter Idaho in the near future, should the state officially change it’s stance down the road.
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