Washington State Players

Written By PlayPicks Staff on February 24, 2014 - Last Updated on June 27, 2018
Washington State Players

FanDuel Restricts Washington State Players

 

In a surprising move FanDuel has decided to no longer allow real money access to players who reside in the state of Washington. No legislation was sent forth but FanDuel claims that when revisiting legal reviews with their lawyers it was determined to be in their best legal interest to no longer allow players from Washington to play. This brings Fanduel in line with sites that offer season long paid leagues like CBS Sports who do not allow  any participants from the state of Washington. At this time players from Washington are being allowed to withdraw the funds that they currently have in their accounts but all participation in real money games has been blocked effect immediately. The only other major site to not allow Washington players is Draftkings. They have had this policy in place for some time now and may have had an effect on FanDuel changing their stance on allowing individuals from this state to participate. For now, Washington players are allowed to participate in real money contests at both DraftStreet and DraftDay which are the other two largest daily fantasy sports sites.

 

What is the reasoning?

 

FanDuel claims that this decision has nothing to do with any legislation that has been passed recently but by a better review of laws that are already put in place in the state of Washington. Washington also appears to be the state that contains the most grey area as far as daily fantasy sports being defined as a game of skill. It is generally the 5th state that either is blocked by fantasy sports sites or is allowed along with Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana and Montana. Washington has always been known to have very strict laws against Online Poker and other forms of Online gambling as this story done by ESPN so accurately portrays. Yet, it still feels to a number of players that FanDuel is hiding something from players. Why was this decision made so suddenly on a review of laws previously put in place? A number of players feel like something has to be behind this decision that FanDuel is not letting onto. It will be very interesting to monitor in the coming weeks and months especially with sites like DraftStreet and DraftDay and StarStreet that are still allowing players to play real money games from the state of Washington. Although news like this can not be considered good for the daily fantasy sports industry one positive that can be taken is that FanDuel is doing their homework and is trying to work with all states to ensure good standing with each individual state. As more and more investment dollars are thrown into sites like FanDuel and Draftkings a more detailed and closer look as to the legality behind daily fantasy sports will only help us players in the future.

 

FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles responsed to a thread on Rotogrinders providing more clarification on why this action was taken in the State of Washington.

Here is a more complete breakdown of the issues with Washington state.

Firstly, Washington statute defines a contest of chance as “any contest… in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein.” RCW § 9.46.0225. So in Washington a game may be considered a game of chance (and therefore gambling) if chance has a material factor in the outcome of the game.

However a bigger factor is that Washington state gaming commission has taken a very broad (and in our view incorrect) view of their gaming laws. The commission believes that office pools, brackets and fantasy sports are gambling activities and are illegal in the state. See: http://www.wsgc.wa.gov/faq/sports-wagering.aspx

The gaming commission did contact another fantasy sports operator last year which then subsequently excluded the state. However they have never been in contact with us. As stated in the blog post there was no specific action that caused us to take this action. However as our company grows and matures we do have to review and sometimes amend earlier policy.

We did a full review of all 50 states and Washington was the only one that we identified as problematic.

I sympathize with users that are based in Washington. We are currently supporting theFSTA to get a bill through in Iowa that would explicitly legalize fantasy sports there. That is looking promising. We want to do the same in Washington but we’ve struggled to find a sympathetic representative. If you have any connections there or you are based in Washington and you think your local representative may be interested then please get in touch.

 

 

Washington State Players
Washington State Players
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