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Thursday, September 06, 2012
Is Kansas Softening on the Legality of Fantasy Sports?

With the 2012 NFL season kicking off this week, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission has given an early indication of a change to its view on the legality of fantasy football.

As I noted in my 2012 Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law article, A Short Treatise on Fantasy Sports and the Law, Kansas has traditionally been a high-risk state for operating fantasy football leagues based on language appearing on the state's Racing and Gaming Commission website that indicated "chance predominates over skill in fantasy sports leagues" and that "if a fantasy sports league has a buy-in (no matter what it is called) for its managers and gives a prize, then all three elements of an illegal lottery are satisfied."

However, as of this morning, this cautionary language no longer appears on the Kansas Racing Commission website. In addition, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission's Frequently Asked Questions page now omits any discussion about the legality of fantasy sports.

Although language on the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission website is merely advisory, its recent removal in conjunction with the website's overall renovation signals a possible backing away from the state's earlier hard-line stance against fantasy football. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that two of the largest providers of pay-to-win fantasy football games -- CBS Sports and Yahoo! -- had allowed entries from Kansas, even despite the previous cautionary language.


Interesting read. I work in law in the UK and over here, fantasy sports are the next thing we're going to add on to the Olympic games. It is at least a secret national sport commonly played while sitting on the toilet in this country.

Anonymous Jim Loxley -- 9/06/2012 11:25 AM  

Thanks for posting this. I reviewed the Kansas website fantasy sports language while researching a guide on contests and sweepstakes law. I have been unsuccessfully searching for a statement from Kansas as to why the language was removed. Your posting re-inforces my impression that Kansas provided no such explanatory statement. By the way, I read your article, "A Short Treatise on Fantasy Sports and the Law". I'm flattered that you cited my Guide Through the Legal Jungle blog in your article.

Anonymous Joy Butler, Attorney and Author -- 2/15/2013 4:18 PM  

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