Mississippi Attorney General Claims Daily Fantasy Sports Illegal
February 1, 2016
Mississippi Attorney General States Follows Texas, Vermont, New York Example by Claiming Daily Fantasy Sports Illegal
On February 1, Mississippi’s Attorney General Jim Hood chose to stand against Daily Fantasy Sports. The Mississippi Gaming Commission asked him in January to respond to questions offered by the state’s citizens. He responded by saying. During a meeting with the Commission on Friday, January 29, Hood gave the following statement: “Fantasy sports wagering is illegal in the State of Mississippi under current law both on a licensed gaming floor and outside of a licensed gaming floor. Any change to the law would be a matter within the purview of the Legislature.”
Hood cited this clause in the Mississippi Gaming Control Act: “No wagering shall be allowed on the outcome of any athletic event, nor on any matter to be determined during an athletic event, nor on the outcome of any event, which does not take place on the premises.”
This bars any form of fantasy sports contests operating in the standard online format.
Hood’s decision is also in line with the statements given by the Attorney Generals of Texas and Vermont this January. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxont stated: “Paid daily 'fantasy sports' operators claim they can legally operate as an unregulated house, but none of their arguments square with existing Texas law… Unlike some other states, Texas law only requires 'partial chance' for something to be gambling; it does not require that chance predominate.”
Vermont Attorney General John Treadwell. “Daily fantasy sports violate Vermont's gambling laws… Vermont has very strict long-standing limitations on gambling."
New York, too, is embroiled in a battle between Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Daily Fantasy Sports giants DraftKings and FanDuel. The latter two companies experienced a significant victory in January, as they were given permission to continue to operate in the state while they await an appeal in May.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris has been famously silent on the issue.
In Texas, DraftKings remains defiant in the face of government opposition. "We intend to operate openly and transparently in Texas, so that the millions of Texans who are fantasy sports fans can continue to enjoy the contests they love," promised DraftKings attorney Randy Mastro.