Get exclusive CAP network offers from top brands

View CAP Offers

Virginia Attorney General Goes There ‘DFS is Sports Betting’

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), and their very popular pick ’em products, are sports betting. That’s the opinion Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares declares in a recently released legal opinion that could have far-reaching consequences for DFS operators who have been pushing the limits of their market with sports betting-like products.

Miyares does not mince words in his 4-page opinion stating bluntly, “It is my opinion that, because fantasy contests require multiple customers competing against each other, a gambling arrangement that involves customers betting on athletes’ performance metrics against an operator’s established baseline, and not other contest participants, constitutes sports betting as defined in Virginia Code § 58. 1-4030.”

In short, Miyares says that players who are playing against other players are not sports betting, but when players play against the house, it is definitely sports betting. The AG went on to point out that betting on the performance of individual players, as is the manner of DFS pick ’em products, is also a form of gambling, and should be regulated as such.

Not surprisingly, the Coalition for Fantasy Sports says that’s not the case at all. The DFS trade group responded to Miyares’ opinion saying, “We disagree with the Attorney General’s opinion and look forward to continuing our positive working relationship with our governing agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The opinion does not supersede the licensing process in place as established by the Virginia General Assembly. The Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs (OCRP) is responsible for administering the Fantasy Contests Act in the Commonwealth. Our member companies are licensed and continue to operate legally in Virginia.”

Legal opinions like Miyares’ take on DFS are not legally binding, but can be very influential with legislators. DFS operators are right to be concerned about this latest salvo against their hottest products.