I would like to get clarification on the laws that make playing fantasy football for money illegal. I had attempted to sign up and play fantasy football on Fan Duel, only to be told that I couldn't play because I live in Louisiana. I would like to get a little more clarification on this. My other question is on the legality of having someone from out of state make me an account, and transfer me any money I won. Any answer would be much appreciated. Thanks.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Louisiana is one of about 5 states that have declared that it is illegal here. I have not reviewed the case, but my understanding is that the issue was whether the site was a "gambling" site or if it was some sort of game of skill, like a tournament with a cash prize. Gambling is still illegal in every state (even LA and Las Vegas..."gaming" is different from "gambling"....Multi-billion dollar corporation offers craps in Harrah's="gaming"....4 guys with dice playing craps behind a liquor store="gambling"). Anyway, I think most states view the fantasy sites as a legal "tournament" site, but Louisiana views it as gambling on sports, which is illegal. Again, I haven't reviewed the issue, but that is what I believe is the reason for the difference from state to state.
Now, to answer your last questions, lying about where you live would not make using the service legal and I would further assume the site itself has safeguards against that. Besides, if they don't pay you, what would you do to enforce it? You can't enforce a contract with an illegal object, so you'd be out of luck. And, if you think they would never do that, look at the news. A class action was just filed against them for RICO violations for allowing their own employees to game the system against other users. Interestingly, that case was filed in Louisiana too. Go figure that.