Daily Fantasy Sports

Click Here To Play Daily Fantasy Sports at DraftKingsAs one of the most popular forms of paid sports gaming, Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS, has become an enormous industry over the last decade or so. What started as a statistical curiosity in the “office pool” tradition has become a multibillion-dollar pastime enjoyed by tens of millions of players nationwide. As a platform, DFS walks a fine line as it navigates the webwork of US law, establishing itself in most cases as a perfectly legitimate form of entertainment.

Playing Daily Fantasy Sports can be as in-depth or simplistic as you and your particular league wish it to be. The main concept across all DFS leagues is that you and the other members (or players) in your league each draft existing professional athletes to compose a single “fantasy” team. Then, using a point system based on the real individual statistics of those players, your team is scored on aggregate. At the conclusion of the league’s game or time limit, the player with the highest score wins.

Daily Fantasy Sports, as the name implies, can be scored daily/weekly on a per-contest basis, or it can be a season-long endeavor. Again, the rules that apply vary, and they are established by the league administrators. In a private league, you can basically make all your own rules, but in site-wide official tournaments, the service in question will set the standard.

Does Daily Fantasy Sports Count As Gambling?

Yes and no. In the states where Daily Fantasy Sports has been officially made legal and subject to government regulation, the argument that DFS constitutes a “game of skill” seems to separate it from the common “game of chance” gambling designation. However, from another (equally valid) perspective, one would not be incorrect to say that DFS is subject to such potential randomness that a large part of the pastime is indeed predicated on chance, thus making it a form of gambling.

Some states’ attorneys general have chosen this latter tack and have announced that their offices will view, investigate, and prosecute Daily Fantasy Sports activity as illegal sports gambling in states that offer neither activity. That said, actual prosecutions and convictions haven’t happened yet, and DFS users in restricted states don’t seem to be attracting much legal attention. Now that more states are legalizing sports betting, the gambling debate is becoming almost irrelevant.

Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal?

In most states, Daily Fantasy Sports is legal. While similar to other forms of gambling in many respects, there has been considerable governmental action on whether or not DFS is close enough to sports betting to be covered under related laws. However, DFS has had success carving out its niche as sufficiently different from established models of gambling to receive legislative exemptions from many states and suspended (or pending) decisions from many others.

While you can follow your particular area’s current laws and regulations surrounding Daily Fantasy Sports, most sites that offer paid and free DFS services will only let you join if such activity is not explicitly illegal where you live. Because these are US-based businesses, they have a pressing interest in making sure they fully comply with all local laws and accurately represent those laws to their users.

In short, the best way for most folks to determine if Daily Fantasy Sports is legal is to simply sign up at one of the big providers. They will not allow you to engage in paid DFS play if you live somewhere that the activity has been banned. In other words, if you can sign up, you can play. Just be honest about where you live, and you’re good.

What States Don’t Allow Daily Fantasy Sports?

Right now (and bear in mind, this can change at any time as new legislation is passed each congressional session), Daily Fantasy Sports is legal in the majority of the country. In fact, it is far easier to list the states that don’t allow Daily Fantasy Sports than to list the ones that do.

If you want to use a commercial DFS service and live in the following states, you’re out of luck for the time being. Write your congress-critter and demand satisfaction. In the meantime, you might want to make plans to move out of Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, and Washington. (Please note that FanDuel does not operate in Texas, while DraftKings does.)

If you live in the more American parts of America, all you need to do to get involved in Daily Fantasy Sports is have an Internet connection and the desire to at least cursorily pore over individual athlete statistics and analyst projections. Alcohol is recommended but not required.

The Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites

While there are dozens (if not hundreds) of DFS operators in the US, your best bets for the most comprehensive action – as well as the best competition and league options – will be one of the premier services, DraftKings or FanDuel.

DraftKings and FanDuel are the best daily fantasy sports sites by far, and their membership volumes – as well as their combined 90% market dominance – make them each a compelling destination for DFS beginners and veterans alike.

Playing At DraftKings

DraftKings is the bigger and more marketed of the two dominant Daily Fantasy Sports outfits, although official numbers are impossible to come by and seem to be treated as a trade secret. Most estimates put DraftKings’s membership at roughly 8 million users and (very) conservatively place its revenue stream at more than $2 million per week.

What Sports Does DraftKings Have?

One of the main ways that DraftKingsdifferentiates itself from FanDuel is in the menu of sports on which it offers fantasy action. Without question, most DFS players prefer NFL, NBA, and MLB leagues, which both major services offer in spades, but DraftKings definitely goes the extra mile. In addition to the major US sports leagues, DraftKings offers Daily Fantasy Sports options for the NHL, WNBA, PGA, NASCAR, MMA, Canadian football, Euro League, and eSports (namely League of Legends).

This variety makes DraftKings a more attractive option for players who enjoy the fantasy league concept as entertainment across several venues. Additionally, DraftKings’ scoring systems and league rules tend to be different across the board from its competitors. If, for example, you want the ability to alter your lineups for late scratches or – in the case of fantasy football – you don’t want to mess with figuring in the impact of a lowly placekicker, DraftKings is where to go.

Playing At FanDuel

FanDuel is the older of the two Daily Fantasy Sports goliaths, and it boasts a healthy user base of more than 6 million members and an estimated revenue of hundreds of millions of dollars. To date, FanDuel has paid out more than $2 billion in prize money alone, or roughly $250 million per year since its inception. Of course, this average is heavily weighted on the back end, which illustrates the continuing rapid growth of FanDuel in popularity, investor funding, and overall earnings.

What Sports Does FanDuel Have?

One area in which FanDuelmight be something of a disappointment – albeit to relatively few users – is in the selection of sports it offers. Since the vast majority of players gravitate towards the NFL, NBA, and MLB, this isn’t necessarily a big issue. Still, it’s worth pointing out that FanDuel doesn’t have Daily Fantasy Sports options for NASCAR, MMA, Canadian football, or eSports. If any of these particular sports leagues are important to you for DFS play, you’ll be better served signing up at DraftKings.

However, if the mainstream options are your bag, FanDuel can be a compelling choice over its primary rival. That’s because FanDuel offers different scoring systems and rules than DraftKings. Take its NFL offerings, for example. With FanDuel, you can actually draft a kicker (you know, those sissy girly-men who aren’t even real players but always lead their football teams in individual scoring), and you get an extra 20 percent or so of salary cap space to set up your team. FanDuel is also a better service for users without the ability to spend big on every event, as they have much smaller buy-in ceilings and maximum stakes.

How Much Does It Cost To Play DFS?

As much as you want to spend. Both DraftKings and FanDuel are free to join and offer private leagues that users can set up and play in at no charge. Naturally, such free leagues have no mechanism whereby users can win actual money, but they do provide a fun arena for friends and acquaintances to test the waters before making actual financial commitments to the pastime. For beginners, private leagues can also provide valuable learning experiences that will help them when real money’s on the line.

Once you’re ready to enter paid leagues, the cost of entry into any given contest is based on the number of players expected, the advertised prize payouts, and so on. DraftKings will allow much higher buy-ins than FanDuel, but it also offers budget-conscious players a unique $0.25 “arcade” experience. Sure, the payouts are tiny, but it only costs a quarter to play. By comparison, FanDuel offers paid contests for as low as $1, though hundreds of thousands of players drop $7 a pop for a chance to walk away with a chunk of the company’s signature Sunday Million prize. In either case, you’ll definitely have the opportunity to spend as much – or as little – on Daily Fantasy Sports as you want.

DraftKings Bonus

Another reason to go with the big players in DFS is the bonus systems they employ. Both new and existing DraftKings members are often eligible for signup and deposit bonuses, respectively. These vary based on the time of year and promoted sports leagues, but typically, new players can get a “free play” ticket for their first league entry. DraftKings currently is offering a free $3 ticket with a deposit of $5 or more. New depositors and other players will often be eligible for free tickets and other perks that they can redeem via the site’s Frequent Player Points system.

FanDuel Bonus

Like DraftKings, FanDuel also offers a selection of bonuses for new and returning players. Promos include free entry into the site’s signature Sunday Million contest, as well as access to a rotating selection of no-fee leagues with real payouts and multiple chances to win. Right now, players can also get a $20 bonus when making their first-ever deposit. Users can also earn FanDuel Points as a reward for consistent play, user referrals, and the like.

How Do I Deposit Into My DFS Account?

Making a deposit into your Daily Fantasy Sports account is a simple process, as both major outfits accept debit/credit card and PayPal transactions. Additionally, both DraftKings and FanDuel will also take credit-card-based gift cards. However, it should be noted that, while Visa, Mastercard, and Discover are universally accepted, only DraftKings takes American Express. (If you wish to deposit via American Express into your FanDuel account, the only workaround is to do so through PayPal.)

What Is The Minimum Age To Play Daily Fantasy Sports?

Generally speaking, the legal minimum age for participation in Daily Fantasy Sports is 18. Both DraftKings and FanDuel adhere to these guidelines in most cases, although it must be noted that certain states which have already passed DFS-specific legislation may set the minimum age to 21. If you are unsure of your state’s specific policies for Daily Fantasy Sports age limits, you might want to err on the side of caution and assume it to be 21 years old.

Where Can I Play College Football DFS?

Nowhere. You might have noticed that college football is not included in the sports menus for either DraftKings or FanDuel. Indeed, most DFS vendors (if not all of them) neglect to offer NCAA sports of any kind. They stopped offering college leagues in 2016 as a response to several states “legalizing” Daily Fantasy Sports while simultaneously banning its inclusion of amateur and youth athletics. It also goes without saying that the NCAA does not allow college athletes to participate in for-money DFS leagues.

Though it wouldn’t be illegal for DraftKings or FanDuel to host collegiate leagues in most states, this concession was primarily made because industry lobbyists required a “good faith” gesture to endear their businesses to a potentially hostile US Congress. So far, the olive branch seems to be working.

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