Fantasy Football - Is It Illegal Gambling?

While gambling money against the possible real-world games’ outcomes is illegal in all states except Nevada, the fantasy football gambling games are legal because they do not connect to this same type of gambling. The federal law classifies fantasy sports as games of skill rather than actual gambling such as when placing money as bets on the outcomes of games.

What Is Fantasy Football?

Because fantasy football is a game of skill rather than chance, federal law classifies this activity as legal throughout the country. The activity involves a fan choosing a real player usually through online selection processes to then assemble his or her fantasy team. With the use of real-game statistics compiled for the game, the fan can then compare who has the best team and which participant will win the fantasy version of the game. To ensure the activity is still legal, the individual cannot bet on the outcome of an individual game or player’s performance.

The Multiple Players in the Game

One reason the fantasy football game is one of skill is because the fan must choose multiple players for each team he or she compiles. Then, the game is one of skill through cognitive thinking processes. With the legal status unlikely to change, fans throughout the United States can take advantage of similar games to fantasy football. Betting through this medium provides numerous fans the ability to acquire funds and to take part in a multi-fan engagement of mental skill and agility. If the game changes or does not involve the usual standard, it is important to check with state and federal laws to see if it could violate regulations in place.

Fantasy Football and Betting

There are several ways that fans of football teams can bet on the outcome of the entirety of the games or individual activities. By using the real-world statistics, the fans can attempt to reason out who will win with the entire team picked and how the plays would work. Similar actions are possible when confronting different teams comprised of opposing players with similar stats. Depending on the layout of the game, the possible number of fans and betting pool, these games could net the winner a substantial amount. Because the game is still one of skill, these bets are not illegal gambling per the federal laws governing the activity.

The Industry

Fantasy sports is a large industry that has an estimate of over $1.5. There are several companies that become players in the business and direct a fantasy football team. These consist of major media and even internet entities such as Disney, Yahoo and television stations to include CBS. The industry provides each person or entity with similar ability to choose players and a full team and play games with others online or in person. The betting pools can increase or decrease based on who is willing to participate with any given game. With legal gambling available through this activity, anyone in the country can participate except the states that do not permit the action.

Illegal Fantasy Football

These fantasy sports are illegal in five states throughout the country. These include Arizona, Louisiana, Washington state, Iowa and Montana. This is according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, and anyone in these locations cannot legally participate in fantasy football activities. The FSTA is attempting to legalize these games in these states through legislation pushed to citizens that live in each location. It is important to know what laws exist at the time of joining such fantasy sports leagues and how to avoid state violations of the law. Some may need to only practice such activities when living in another state.

Banned Employee Activity

Some companies ban employees from fantasy sports activities because of insider information about what games may provide larger cashouts. If the individual has additional details about real-world statistics or what players may transfer to certain other teams by fantasy team owners, this could change or influence betting and award someone with funds that did not earn them through skill. There is no government that oversees these sports or any regulators checking these activities in Nevada or some other states. Because of this, it is possible that new laws or rules may apply.

Legal Support for Fantasy Football Gambling

To avoid charges for illegal gambling, the individual must know the current laws of the state. If he or she does face charges for these activities, a lawyer is an important professional to support the client.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

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