On Monday, FanDuel and DraftKings announced that they would be leaving Idaho after an agreement was reached with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. The two top DFS sites have been in discussions with Idaho officials for a couple months according to Boise Weekly.
As part of the agreement, there will be no admission of liability or evidence of wrongdoing by either DraftKings or FanDuel. In a statement, Wasden said that DFS games were considered gambling under Idaho law.
“The concern I have is that the paid daily sports offerings provided by these companies constitute gambling under Idaho law. My concern is that the daily fantasy sports offerings my office reviewed require participants to risk money for a cash prize contingent upon individual athletes’ collective performances in various future sporting events. As I see it, this falls within Idaho’s definition of gambling.”
Where Can you Play Daily Fantasy Sports?
The FanDuel and DraftKings departure in Idaho comes on the heels of both sites also halting real money play in Alabama after the attorney general in that state declared the games unlawful under state law.
Daily fantasy sports is being pulled in two different directions at the moment — one by states that want to regulate daily fantasy sports (such as Tennessee, Virginia and Indiana and one by attorney general offices that are declaring that daily fantasy sports does not meet lawful gaming requirements. (Texas, New York and Mississippi) are among a few of the states that have come under pressure in recent months.
Despite all the pressure, most states have left the matter alone for the time being.
FanDuel still accepts real money play from 38 states while DraftKings allows players from 39 states. FanDuel and DraftKings bar players from Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Nevada and Washington state. FanDuel also is currently also restricting players from Texas as well while DraftKings continues to accept players from the Lone Star State.
For players who are concerned that their state may be next, many sites are recommending to get involved and help make the games available for all to play. Those interested in helping in the fight they can go to www.fantasysportsforall.com and let their representatives know how they feel. If your state does take a negative stance on DFS, there is a good chance that the state may revisit regulation. In fact, some states such as Tennessee, regulated almost immediately after it was declared unlawful under state law.
Forunately for players, the top DFS sites have been quite quick in repaying players in a timely manner so there is little concern on that front even if your state may take action in the future.
Statements from FanDuel and DraftKings Idaho Players
Excerpt from FanDuel’s statement to Idaho daily fantasy sports players:
“We believe FanDuel has always operated within the law in Idaho, however, as we continue to evaluate the legal framework, we have decided to suspend our paid operations in the state. As has always been the case, users in Idaho can withdraw their funds at any time.
We are continually working to clarify the law and look forward to working with legislators to enact consumer protections so that we can bring our paid contests back to Idaho sports fans once again. In the meantime, please show your support by going to www.fantasysportsforall.com/connect/idaho and let your elected officials know how much you enjoy playing fantasy sports.”
DraftKings also weighed in as well with a statement of their own:
“While we disagree with the Attorney General’s conclusions and know that daily fantasy sports players join in our disappointment that we are ceasing operations in Idaho, we look forward to continued and constructive engagement with state legislators. DraftKings is working with lawmakers across the country to enact fantasy sports legislation, so that our loyal fans can continue to enjoy the games they love.”