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Washington State Claims Daily Fantasy Sports Are Illegal

The Washington State Gambling Commission has revealed that they believe daily fantasy sports fall into a category of online gambling, which is outlawed under the law RCW 9.46.240.

Washington is one of just a handful of states that have moved to ban online gambling, and its longstanding law prohibits online gambling of any type within their boundaries. The law ends up banning online casino games, sportsbetting, and now apparently daily fantasy sports.

The Commission released a statement on the matter, which read: "RCW 9.46.240 prohibits Internet gambling in Washington State. Additionally, the Washington State Constitution (Article II Section 24) prohibits all gambling activities unless the activity is specifically authorized in State law.

Internet gambling has never been authorized in Washington State. It is illegal to:

  • Operate an Internet gambling site.

  • Gamble on the Internet.

  • Install or maintain equipment to send or receive gambling information.

  • Facilitate Internet gambling in any way.

Online fantasy sports wagering is not authorized for play in Washington State.

The federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) provides an exemption for fantasy sports; however, the UIGEA also states it does not alter State law prohibiting fantasy sports wagering. Washington State does not allow online fantasy sports wagering and the UIGEA does not change this.

Fantasy sports wagering falls under Washington State law's definition of gambling - risking something of value on the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the person's control or influence to receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.

Fantasy sports wagering usually takes place online and online gambling is not authorized in Washington State (RCW 9.46.240)."

The announcement is sure to be a blow for daily fantasy companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel, which are gearing up for NFL action, which is set to begin in less than two weeks.

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