Fantasy football is a fall hobby for millions of Americans across the country. There is nothing inherently illegal about making fantasy football rosters and keeping track of team winnings. However, playing the game for money raises some interesting legal questions. When organizing your local fantasy football league this season, consider these important points from Dashner Law Firm.
Is it Legal to Play Fantasy Football for Money?
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 includes a provision that makes most games of fantasy football legal when they are played by traditional rules. The laws about fantasy sports include a stipulation that “winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants.” This is the key difference between gambling on fantasy football and gambling on the final score of a real football game. Since fantasy football is based on knowledge, it is a game of skill rather than a game of chance. This is what makes it legal to play for money.
Do Regulations Vary by State?
Most states have rules regulating fantasy football that are the same as the federal law outlined above. However, some states are stricter on gambling on fantasy sports teams. The states Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Iowa, and Tennessee do not allow gambling on contests that involves an element of chance. The attorney generals of Florida and Kansas have also publicly questioned the legality of fantasy football, but games continue in those states.
Are All Formats of Fantasy Football Legal?
Some formats of fantasy football are riskier than others. These include league setups that rely on a higher degree of chance. For example, if points are awarded to players based on the final scores of any real-world games, they pose murkier legal questions than games that have points awarded solely on player stats. Talk to an experienced attorney to be on the safe side when it comes to the legality of your league.