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TN Attorney General: Fantasy sports are illegal gambling

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In this Oct. 25, 2015, photo, workers set up a DraftKings promotions tent in the parking lot of Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., before an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets. New York's attorney general on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, ordered the daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel to stop accepting bets in the state, saying their operations amount to illegal gambling. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a new opinion, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery says fantasy sports contest are ‘illegal gambling” in the state of Tennessee.

The opinion was requested by House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley.

The opinion was obtained by The Tennessean.

The opinion specifically talks about fantasy sports where an entry fee is paid to participate.

“While participants may use skill to select players for their teams, winning a fantasy sports contest is contingent to some degree on chance. Namely, the participants do not control how selected athletes perform in actuality on a given day. Athletes’ performances are affected by many fortuitous factors – weather, facilities, referees, injuries, etc.,” wrote Slatery.

The law could be changed if desired.

“Absent legislation specifically exempting fantasy sports contests from the definition of “gambling,” these contests constitute illegal gambling.”

What does this mean? The opinion doesn’t mean fantasy sports can’t be played; it could be used if someone suggested changing state law.

Some states have banned sites like Fan Duel and DraftKings from doing business.

States that ban fantasy sports include:

  • Mississippi
  • New York
  • Hawaii
  • Arizona
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Washington State
  • Texas