DraftKings, FanDuel Declared as Illegal Gambling in Illinois

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2015

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2015 file photo, an employee in the software development department of DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, walks past screens displaying the company's online system stats in Boston. Top daily fantasy sports companies are fiercely rejecting the idea that their rapidly-growing industry should be considered gambling in the United States. But FanDuel and DraftKings are OK with that label in the United Kingdom. They’re embracing it as a step toward global expansion. U.K. gambling regulators granted a gambling license to DraftKings in August, while FanDuel applied earlier this month for a license as a “gambling software” company. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
Stephan Savoia/Associated Press

Following similar rulings in Nevada and New York, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan declared Wednesday daily fantasy sports sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel constitute sports gambling under state law, according to ChicagoBusiness.com's Danny Ecker

Ecker relayed Madigan's official ruling:     

The complete opinion can be read here, courtesy of Scribd.com

Furthermore, Ecker reported Madigan sent a letter to DraftKings and FanDuel saying they will need to post a disclaimer on their respective websites so prospective players in Illinois are aware they're no longer eligible to compete in daily fantasy games. 

However, there has reportedly been a push within the state legislature to legalize daily fantasy sports. The primary proponent of the measure has been state Rep. Mike Zalewski, who issued a statement following Madigan's decision: 

Ecker added Wednesday's ruling has left the "door open" for daily fantasy sports to be legalized in Illinois through the bill Zalewski has sponsored. 

According to the Illinois General Assembly's website, Zalewski's bill would establish "certain requirements for policies and procedures for the operation of fantasy contests" and assure "that participants in fantasy contests as defined under the Fantasy Contests Act shall not be convicted of gambling."

Based on all the moving parts, Wednesday will not be the last time the legality of daily fantasy is debated in Illinois. 

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