The discussion of the legality of daily fantasy sports is something that has found its way into the spotlight in recent years. It is being discussed in legal circles and has been filling the minutes of state legislative meetings around the country. It truly is a hot topic so I have to discuss it, despite the lack of personal connection I have with it.
Entering the class debate my opinion was that daily fantasy sports were definitely gambling and if gambling was illegal in a state then they too should also be illegal. It seemed very straight forward in my eyes but then some facts were laid out that began reshaping my thought. To clarify one thing, I still 100% believe that daily fantasy leagues are gambling. What has changed is my thought on their legality and the laws that govern them.
In 2006 The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed by the federal government. Its main focus was to regulate online gambling and the money involved in online casinos. The interesting part of the UIGEA is that a specific piece is carved out for fantasy sports. It does not include participation in any fantasy or simulation sports game as long as there is no current membership of an actual team. It also specifies rules for prizes and other points but simply put, fantasy sports do not count under this law. The other key piece of information in regards to the UIGEA is that it completely blankets all of the gambling laws in all 50 states. That means that even if gambling is outright illegal in state that state law does not apply to daily fantasy sports. This makes them completely legal, no questions asked.
If I am interpreting what I have read correctly then these fantasy leagues should not be illegal anywhere. They are protected by the federal law, making this whole debate nonexistent.