Different daily fantasy sports companies have taken different approaches to the U.S. states that sites allow to play DFS for real money.
Below is a table of the states where sites like DraftKings and FanDuel ban and allow play. Due to the fluid nature of DFS’ legal situation, sites may change their policy on a given state with little or no notice. Please contact us with any errors or omissions.
Operators are generally using DraftKings and FanDuel as a firewall/temperature taker. If those two sites are no longer in a given state, other operators generally follow.
Here is a map that gives an overview of which operators are in which states:
Key: FD = FanDuel, DK = DraftKings, YHO = Yahoo, SD= StarsDraft, FA = Fantasy Aces, SFL = Star Fantasy Leagues
It’s worth noting that these are not necessarily states where daily fantasy sports are illegal to play. The legal picture surrounding DFS is complex and ambiguous, as a snapshot of the approach major sites take to blocking states quickly reveals.
Snapshot: Policies of major operators
The states where DraftKings blocks players are: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, New York, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, and Washington State.
Note that we’re not asserting that these are states where DraftKings is illegal to play. The law regarding operation of a game and the law regarding participation in a game are often separate animals. These are simply DraftKings banned states where players are not allowed by the site, DraftKings restrictions and not necessarily the specific restriction of the state itself.
The states where FanDuel blocks players are: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, New York, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Texas, and Washington State.
Again, this is a reflection of company policy regarding banned states and not a legal determination by any arm of government. Inclusion on the list does not necessarily mean it is a state where DFS is illegal, and exclusion from the list also doesn’t guarantee that fantasy sports is legal in the state. So a state being on the list above isn’t the same as being able to definitively claim that “FanDuel is illegal in that state,” and a state being off of the list isn’t the same as being able to say “FanDuel is legal in that state.”
The states where Yahoo blocks players are: Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, New York, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, and Washington State.
Yahoo’s list adds one state to FanDuel’s and DraftKings’ “not allowed” states: Florida. That may be a reaction to a legal climate in Florida that some observers consider unfriendly to DFS. As you can see, from this example, a DFS site may have many reasons for adding a state to their list of prohibited states – it’s not always a matter of a state having explicitly banned or outlawed DFS.
The states where StarsDraft blocks players are: All states except Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
As mentioned above, the decision of what states to allow and what states to ban is one that varies by operator. StarsDraft – partly owned by PokerStars’ parent company Amaya – is a radical example of how significantly the decision regarding what states to allow and what states to ban can vary from DFS site to DFS site.