California Lawmakers to Discuss Legality of Daily Fantasy Sports

The California Attorney General’s Office is preparing a formal opinion concerning the legality of daily fantasy sports in the state.

Nov 28, 2023 • 13:11 ET • 4 min read
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One of the largest states in America is considering the legality of daily fantasy sports.

The California Attorney General’s Office has announced plans to prepare a formal opinion concerning the legality of daily fantasy sports in the state, as first reported by Vixio GamblingCompliance.

The decision to prepare an opinion follows a request in October by Republican Senator Scott Wilk. The former minority leader is seeking an answer from the attorney general on whether California law “prohibits the offering and operation of daily fantasy sports betting platforms with players physically located within the state of California, regardless of whether the operators and associated technology are located within or outside of the state.”

As of November, residents in California have access to daily fantasy sports contests through operators, including PrizePicks, Underdog Fantasy, and Betr. In California, fantasy sports are unregulated but not considered illegal providing other major operators, including FanDuel and DraftKings, with access to a market that has a population of roughly 39 million people.

Despite the emergence of fantasy sports, online and retail sports betting in California is far from reality. Last year, state lawmakers rejected two sports betting measures by a large margin.

Nationwide discussion

Wilk’s request comes amid a nationwide shakeup of fantasy operators that offer Pick'em style contests. In September, Florida gaming regulators ordered fantasy operators to shutter operations after they received information that the platforms “may be offering or accepting illegal bets or wagers from Florida residents.” Regulators in Ohio took similar action to prohibit the Pick'em style contests while other states are taking different approaches to address the issue.

Last month, the Michigan Gaming Control Board put into place new administrative rules for fantasy sports contests that ensure fair play. The new rules, which were accepted by a legislative committee, ban contests “that involve, result in, or have the effect of mimicking betting on sports.” As a result of the rules shift, PrizePicks debuted a new free-to-play game in the Wolverine State earlier this month after previously announcing an exit from the market.

North Carolina has also taken steps to address fantasy sports. In October, members of the state’s Lottery Commission voted to begin the rulemaking process for regulations for online fantasy operators. The proposed rules state that fantasy contests are not “based on proposition wagering or contests that involve, result in, or have the effect of mimicking proposition wagering or other forms of Sports Wagering.” Fantasy sports will continue to be a talking point in the Tar Heel State as sports betting is expected to go live sometime in 2024.

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