What States is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal In?

Want to know if DFS is legal in your state? We've got the current DFS legal status of every state.

Matt Brown
By Matt BrownPublished: May 13, 2024
What States is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal In?

DFS has become a staple of sports entertainment, engaging millions of players every day who draft their own fantasy teams and compete for sometimes lucrative cash prizes.

These games are segmented mainly into traditional DFS contests and Pick 'em style contests, each offering a unique twist on fantasy sports. 

However, the availability and legality of DFS vary across the U.S., largely due to differing state regulations or lack thereof. Some states allow traditional DFS whereas others also allow pick 'em style contests.

So, is DFS in your state?

State-by-State DFS Availability

The legalities for DFS are sometimes complex and differ widely by state. Below is a table summarizing where DFS is allowed, highlighting which states allow residents to play in traditional DFS and which allow both traditional and Pick 'em contests.

DFS has become a staple of sports entertainment, engaging millions of players every day who draft their own fantasy teams and compete for sometimes lucrative cash prizes.

These games are segmented mainly into traditional DFS contests and Pick 'em style contests, each offering a unique twist on fantasy sports. 

However, the availability and legality of DFS vary across the U.S., largely due to differing state regulations or lack thereof. Some states allow traditional DFS whereas others also allow pick 'em style contests.

So, is DFS in your state?

State Traditional DFS Pick'em Contests
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado Modifications Required
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida Specific Types Relaunched
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana Not Allowed in Some Parishes
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan Specific Contests Pulled
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York Under Legal Scrutiny
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Traditional vs. Pick 'em Style Contests

So, what do we mean when we say traditional and pick 'em style contests? They're similar, but there are some stark differences between the two.

In traditional DFS, participants create lineups by selecting players under a salary cap, aiming to rack up the highest total points based on the statistics from the various players they've selected. Some of the big-name DFS sites include DraftKings, FanDuel, and OwnersBox.

On the other hand, though, Pick 'em style contests simplify decision-making by grouping players into tiers from which participants choose based on specific metrics. This style removes the salary cap feature, focusing more on direct comparisons between players and how well or not well they perform. For example, on Underdog Fantasy, you might pick Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers to score more or less points than 15.5 during the game.

Of course, even within each of these contests each DFS site might have their own spin to it. Some may have various parlays and include 'all in' or 'insured' versions of the game. There are too many rules for each to cover right here.

Then there are some sites that have both types of contests. DraftKings, for example, recently released the DraftKings Pick6, which is a spinoff of a pick 'em style contest that compliments their traditional DFS platform.

The Impact of State Regulations

The variation in state-by-state availability primarily reflects local gambling laws and definitions, which can classify DFS under different legal frameworks.

For instance, some states have specific restrictions on Pick 'em contests due to their simpler, more randomized nature, which can edge closer to gambling under certain jurisdictions' interpretations.

Other states might not have any laws or regulations pertaining to daily fantasy operations, and therefore, the DFS operator works in somewhat of a gray area as they're not illegal, but not specifically legal.

Future Trends in DFS Legislation

As DFS continues to grow in popularity, further legislative clarity is likely. Ohio, for example, is one of the more recent jurisdictions that specifically regulate DFS. We expect that other states, such as Texas, will continue allowing DFS operators to function normally with no potential legislation on the way.

This could lead to more uniformity in how states handle DFS contests. For now, both players and platform providers must navigate a patchwork of regulations, requiring them to stay informed about the legal status of their activities based on their location.

Fortunately for you, we'll keep this list updated with the states that have legalized DFS.

Whether you're a fan of traditional fantasy sports or enjoy the quick engagement of Pick 'em contests, the availability of DFS in your state is a key factor that dictates whether or not you can jump into the action.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Head of DFS

Matt's deep-rooted enthusiasm for sports betting and daily fantasy sports infuses the EatWatchDraft team with valuable expertise in football, hockey, and baseball. His forward-thinking perspectives are grounded in a solid academic foundation, including a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and an M.S. in Project Management. This combination of sports passion and technical knowledge fuels Matt's innovative input to the platform.