Nevada bans daily fantasy sports

October 17, 2015

   On October 16th, State of Nevada's Office of the Attorney General issued a memorandum to the Nevada Gaming Control Board concerning the legality of daily fantasy sports under Nevada law.

   Under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, the question of whether fantasy sports are permissible depends on whether fantasy sports are chance-based or skill-based.  31 U.S.C.A. §§ 5361-5367; see earlier blog post.  However, under Nevada law, that distinction does not matter because "games of skill, games of chance, and hybrid games of both skill and chance ... are gambling games".  Memo at page 4.

    According to the Nevada Attorney General's Office, under Nevada law, daily fantasy sports are (1) considered sports pools, see Memo at pages 8-13, (2) are considered gambling games, see Memo at pages 13-15, and (3) may be considered lotteries, see Memo at pages 15-16.  Because of these findings, businesses offering daily fantasy sports must be licensed within the state of Nevada.

    Although the Memo addressed "daily fantasy sports, which track player performance over a single game", its logic similarly applies to "traditional fantasy sports, which track player performance over the majority of a season."  Memo at page 2.

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