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Is Betting on Fantasy Football Legal?
Every year, millions of Americans draft fantasy football teams. Many players raise the stakes by adding cash prizes and bets to the mix. But is playing fantasy football for money illegal? hat ans!er may surprise you. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 "hen it comes to fantasy football, federal la! is on your team. he #nla!ful $nternet %ambling Enforcement Act of &''( regulates online gambling. But the la! specifically makes an exception for fantasy sports that meet the follo!ing re)uirements* +. &. /. he fantasy game,s result is not dependent solely on the final scores of any real-!orld games. %ame outcomes reflect the relative kno!ledge and skill of the participants and are determined predominantly by statistics. and he prizes are established before the game and the value isn,t determined by the number of participants or the amount of fees paid
Most traditional versions of fantasy football comply !ith this language and therefore fit !ithin the federal la!,s exception, 0ports 1a! 2rofessor Marc Edelman !rites for Forbes. 0tate la!, on the other hand, is a !hole different story. State egulations! A "#$ance" Game of #$ic%en A trickier matter is ho! fantasy football fits !ithin state la!. According to Edelman, in most states, betting on fantasy football is illegal !hen the game involves* +. &. /. consideration 3!hen you thro! money in the bucket4, a re!ard 3!hen you !in money or a prize4, and chance.
$t,s leaving the outcome of a game up to chance -- rather than using statistics 3!hich has its o!n legal problems4 -- !hen things get dicey under state la!. "&ore t$an" '( "Any" Most states prohibit playing fantasy football for money if the game involves more chance than skill. But a fe! states make play-for-cash games illegal !hen the outcome is based in any part on chance. $n these 5any chance5 states -- including Arizona, Arkansas, 1ouisiana, $o!a and ennessee -- playing fantasy football for money may very !ell violate state gambling la!s because it,s impossible to completely eliminate the element of chance in a fantasy football game, reports Forbes. he la! varies significantly state-by-state. $f your state hasn,t follo!ed Maryland and explicitly legalized fantasy football prizes, you may !ant consult a sports la! attorney to learn your local la!.
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