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  • finsfan145

    Are daily fantasy sports actually legal in the state of Florida? I know websites offer their games in Florida, but I found this article from the state attorney suggesting it is illegal. Here is the link: http://myfloridalegal.com/ago.nsf/Opinions/9ADEF3B402960199852562A6006FB71E
    Anyone here that lives in Florida or is a lawyer that can clarify.

  • StopAndDrop

    This part is scary, I really really really do not want to be charged with any crime for playing DFS

    “Whoever stakes, bets or wagers any money or other thing of value upon the result of any trial or contest of skill, speed or power or endurance of man or beast . . . or whoever knowingly becomes the custodian or depositary of any money or other thing of value so staked, bet, or wagered upon any such result . . . shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

    The statute thus prohibits stakes, bets or wagers on the results of any contests of skill. In an early decision on the state’s gambling laws, The Supreme Court of Florida found a violation of law in both games of chance and contests of skill where wages, bets or money were at stake, regardless of “whether the parties betting be the actors in the event upon which their wager is laid or not . . . .”[

  • StopAndDrop

    Found this: http://www.insidecounsel.com/2013/10/11/fanduel-wins-big-victory-for-daily-fantasy-sports

    But they skirted around the legality issue

    “According to Forbes contributor Marc Edelman, the court skirted around the key question of whether daily fantasy sports contests are illegal games of chance. This is important to legal counsel because it opens up the possibility for lawsuits on different grounds, especially from a plaintiff who reaches the $75,000 threshold.”

    “Another suit, filed by Langone, against the daily fantasy site DraftDay is ongoing in Illinois courts, and Edelman speculates that suit may have a better chance of success.”

  • finsfan145

    Yeah but that is for Illinois. You would have to think there is some loophole around that Florida statue because I doubt companies like ESPN and CBS would offer fantasy games (season long) for cash if it were illegal, it wouldn’t be worth the risk for huge companies like that.

  • rotokevin

    2014 RG Bowling Co-Champion, CPA & DFS Tax Guru

    • 2014 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @finsfan145 said…

    Are daily fantasy sports actually legal in the state of Florida? I know websites offer their games in Florida, but I found this article from the state attorney suggesting it is illegal. Here is the link: http://myfloridalegal.com/ago.nsf/Opinions/9ADEF3B402960199852562A6006FB71E
    Anyone here that lives in Florida or is a lawyer that can clarify.

    That letter is from 1991. I’m guessing there has been some kind of change in the law since then. These DFS sites tend to be pretty careful to abide by the laws of each state.

  • StopAndDrop

    The stuff you find from googling “DFS legality” is really scary

    “Some experts in sports law say that a shakeout is inevitable because daily fantasy games have a fundamentally different relationship to chance than season-long fantasy games. On a given day an injury, a hailstorm or a ball bouncing strangely could affect a result. In this regard, playing daily fantasy seems very similar to placing a bet with a bookmaker, said Ryan Rodenberg, an assistant professor of sports law at Florida State University.”

    And after that fire canceled a game I can sort of see why they say that, in season long leagues you can work the waiver wire as well if you have a player get hurt.

  • HungryHungryHip

    Season long games or daily games, injuries are going to happen. Luck or whatever. If your player gets hurt in a weekly game(for season long league) you’re probably going to be screwed for that match-up or week just like you would be for that one day.

  • finsfan145

    @rotokevin, that is still the current law (the statue mentioned in the article) but it is possible some of the definitions have changed.

  • nigeleccles

    FanDuel CEO

    @StopAndDrop said…

    Found this: http://www.insidecounsel.com/2013/10/11/fanduel-wins-big-victory-for-daily-fantasy-sports

    But they skirted around the legality issue

    “According to Forbes contributor Marc Edelman, the court skirted around the key question of whether daily fantasy sports contests are illegal games of chance. This is important to legal counsel because it opens up the possibility for lawsuits on different grounds, especially from a plaintiff who reaches the $75,000 threshold.”

    “Another suit, filed by Langone, against the daily fantasy site DraftDay is ongoing in Illinois courts, and Edelman speculates that suit may have a better chance of success.”

    Just to clarify that the court did not “skirt” around the issue of whether daily fantasy sports were illegal games of chance. The motion to dismiss was on the grounds that (1) FanDuel was not a participant in the game (similar to the Humphrey case) and (2) that to claim loss recovery the plaintiff needs to identify the winner, the loser, the amount lost and when it was lost (rather than make general claims of money was lost over a period of time). The court dismissed the case on those grounds. The court was never asked to judge on whether daily fantasy was a game of skill and therefore, unsurprisingly, never offered an opinion on that question. (Obviously, if the case had gone to court we would have entered the defense that the game is one of skill and therefore legal under Illinois law. We do have very solid quantitative evidence to prove that).

    Secondly, as far as I am aware there are no other live cases against DraftDay or anyone else in the industry.

    With regards Florida, that opinion comes from 1991. I don’t believe the laws have changed in Florida since then but the AG certainly has. Note, that Sportsline was founded in Florida in the mid-90’s and CBS has its fantasy sports operations in Florida to this very day.

  • StopAndDrop

    @nigeleccles said…

    Just to clarify that the court did not “skirt” around the issue of whether daily fantasy sports were illegal games of chance. The motion to dismiss was on the grounds that (1) FanDuel was not a participant in the game (similar to the Humphrey case) and (2) that to claim loss recovery the plaintiff needs to identify the winner, the loser, the amount lost and when it was lost (rather than make general claims of money was lost over a period of time). The court dismissed the case on those grounds. The court was never asked to judge on whether daily fantasy was a game of skill and therefore, unsurprisingly, never offered an opinion on that question. (Obviously, if the case had gone to court we would have entered the defense that the game is one of skill and therefore legal under Illinois law. We do have very solid quantitative evidence to prove that).

    Secondly, as far as I am aware there are no other live cases against DraftDay or anyone else in the industry.

    With regards Florida, that opinion comes from 1991. I don’t believe the laws have changed in Florida since then but the AG certainly has. Note, that Sportsline was founded in Florida in the mid-90’s and CBS has its fantasy sports operations in Florida to this very day.

    What about StarStreet pick 5 since they are a participant in the game? How is that not gambling?

  • dstars5

    • Blogger of the Month

    For anyone worried about being charged with a crime, even if DFS is someday deemed illegal, you probably won’t be charged with anything. Just think about how many people play on Fanduel alone. It would cost an insane amount of money to legally pursue every one of them. It would only cost a fraction of that, though, to just go after Fanduel as a whole and shutdown the website. I have no legal background, so I could be completely wrong here, but that’s just my two cents.

  • jhfc

    • 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    I wrote on this issue in law school. It was geared toward poker, but the same basic principles apply. It is VERY unlikely that you would be charged with any sort of crime. Any court would be more interested in pursuing charges against the entities, not the community.

  • nigeleccles

    FanDuel CEO

    @StopAndDrop said…

    What about StarStreet pick 5 since they are a participant in the game? How is that not gambling?

    The reason why fantasy sports is not gambling is because it is a game of skill. If StarStreet were hit with a qui tam or loss recovery act suit regarding their Pick 5 then I expect they would defend it as a game of skill.

  • MrWorldwide

    I live in Fla. and won a CBS Sports season long league about 10 years ago. I was unable to collect my winning because I lived in Fla. That was for baseball. I was told during my phone conversation w/ someone at CBS that the rule only applied to baseball and that even that was going to change soon. I have no idea why only baseball. I have won since then in basketball and baseball and have had no problem collecting my winnings. I think something has changed in the last 10 years or so.

  • finsfan145

    @nigeleccles when you say the law hasn’t changed but the AG has do you mean dfs are illegal but the AG doesn’t care or its legal in florida and the old AG made an inaccurate opinion.

  • sethayates

    @finsfan145 said…

    @nigeleccles when you say the law hasn’t changed but the AG has do you mean dfs are illegal but the AG doesn’t care or its legal in florida and the old AG made an inaccurate opinion.

    The article you cited was an opinion from the Attorney General back in 1991. Legal opinions are not laws. If the A.G from 1991 was still in office he may attempt to go after Fantasy sports. Havinga differnet person in office means a differnet opinion. In the abscense of any actual law being passed I assume we default back to the law passed by congress which gives fantasy sports an exemption.

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