DOVER, Del. (Legal Newsline) — The Delaware Department of
Justice has notified DraftKings Inc., FanDuel Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. that state
law disallows their respective online fantasy sports activities. The department
asked the organizations to add Delaware to their lists of states in which
players are not legally permitted to win monetary prizes.
As with other states that have banned paid online fantasy
sports, the key is that these games involve “chance” and are not entirely based
on skill, the state said. Contestants select the players and teams, but have no role in how the
teams actually perform. Online fantasy sports are therefore lotteries under the
law, the state said, and the Delaware Constitution generally prohibits gambling in the state,
except “lotteries under state control.”
Although House Bill 444 could make changes to state law in the
future, the Department of Justice must enforce the current rules, the state said and the
Department will not put a stop to contests that have no requirement of payment
for participation or the possibility of a monetary reward.
The Department of Justice sent formal notice to the companies July 7.