The two largest daily fantasy sports sites, DraftKings and FanDuel, have updated their terms and conditions to reflect that they are no longer servicing players from the state of Mississippi. The news comes on the heels of an opinion from the Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood that daily fantasy sports were not lawful in the state.
The Catalyst of DraftKings and FanDuel Mississippi Departure
In his statement in late January, Hood said any change in legal status of the game would need to be made by the state legislature. The specific language Hood cited as causing issues for DFS resided in the Mississippi Gaming Control Act which states, “No wagering shall be allowed on the outcome of any athletic event, nor on any matter to be determined during an athletic event, nor on the outcome of any event, which does not take place on the premises.”
Because daily fantasy sports relies on statistical performance of athletes and does not place in a casino, Hood said it meet the qualificiations to be illegal under state law. Hood also cited a 1999 ruling which declared gambling of a horse race “off premises” was illegal. Despite the bad news for Mississippi players, hope remains in a bill to regulate DFS that was introduced last week and passed a committee vote.
Biggest DFS Sites Holding Firm
Despite all the recent scrutiny from states over the last few months, a relatively small number of states have actually been restricted from either FanDuel or DraftKings. Mississippi joins Hawaii and Nevada as states that have been restricted over the last few months. Hawaii was added to the restricted list by both sites after a decision by that state’s attorney general while Nevada determined that unregulated daily fantasy sports could not operate in the state.
FanDuel also originally left New York late last year after a New York Supreme Court Justice ordered DraftKings and FanDuel to halt operations in New York. This decision was reversed after a stay was granted.
DraftKings and FanDuel currently restricts players from Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, and Washington — leaving a total of 42 states where contests are offered.
Options Remain With Smaller Sites
With the departure of FanDuel and DraftKings, playing DFS for Mississippi daily fantasy players has taken a severe blow. But despite the fact the two largest daily fantasy sports sites have left the state, some of the mid-tier sites are accepting players from the state — at least for now. At the time of this writing, players can still play on Yahoo Daily Fantasy, FantasyDraft and DraftOps, among others.
These sites do not offer near the liquidity of the top two sites, but still provide players a way to play real money games for the time being. Whether these sites and others will continue remains to be seen.