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FanDuel, DraftKings Deemed Illegal Gambling by Illinois Attorney General

Another state piles on to DraftKings and FanDuel.

Chris McGrath / Getty Images

Illinois is the latest state to crack down on daily fantasy sports sites DraftKings and FanDuel.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion late Wednesday that stated DraftKings and FanDuel, which offer daily fantasy sports competitions with cash prizes, violate the state’s gambling laws and are therefore illegal. The state law prohibits people from playing “games of chance or skill for money.”

Other states like New York and Nevada have also categorized pay-to-play fantasy sports as gambling. The companies have traditionally argued that they offer a game of skill and are therefore operating legally (although based on Illinois’ state law, that argument may not hold up).

It’s safe to assume neither company is thrilled with the decision. It’s not clear yet whether or not they will continue to operate in Illinois or try to fight the AG’s decision in court (which is what’s happening in New York). Here’s FanDuel’s statement:

Chicago may be the best sports town in the country. It’s a city — and Illinois is a state — that plays fantasy sports like almost no other. “The League” is even set in Illinois. So why the Attorney General would tell her 13.5 million constituents they can’t play fantasy sports anymore as they know it — and make no mistake, her opinion bans all forms of fantasy sports played for money — is beyond us. Hopefully the legislature will give back to the people of Illinois the games they love. A sports town like Chicago and a sports loving state like Illinois deserve nothing less.

Here’s Madigan’s opinion:

FanDuel, DraftKings Illegal in Illinois

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