Daily Fantasy Sports Declared as Illegal Gambling In State of Illinois

fantasy-bettingThis past Wednesday, Illinois joined the growing list of states that do not allow daily fantasy sports within their borders. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion stating her belief that daily fantasy sports should be considered illegal in the state. Madigan is expecting DraftKings and FanDuel to alter their terms of use to include Illinois among their list of states from which they do not accept customers.

Madigan points out that the Illinois criminal code directly states that “a person commits gambling when he or she knowingly plays a game of chance or skill for money or other things of value.” Daily fantasy sports companies often state that they are not gambling because their games are skill-based and not based on chance. However, in cases where a state’s laws directly counter their slogan, there is not much to be done.

According to Madigan, players win or lose based on the performance of actual athletes over which they have no control. This makes it no different from traditional sports wagering.

Currently Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Washington, Nevada, and New York are the only seven states that do not allow daily fantasy sports to be played within their borders. With Madigan’s statement, Illinois will now become the eighth state on this list. There is a good chance that Texas will also follow in short order.

With first New York and then Chicago turning away from daily fantasy sports, an example is being set for other states across America. Illinois is believed to have accounted for roughly 5% of total daily fantasy sports activity, which makes this loss especially difficult for operators.

Similar to when New York’s Attorney General made the same decision, FanDuel has issued a statement asking legislators to “give back to the people of Illinois the games they love.”

However, for now, it looks like Illinois residents will have to do without “the games they love,” at least until further notice.

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