Daily Fantasy

Tennessee Rules DFS is Illegal

By April 7, 2016April 8th, 2016No Comments
DFS Law - Tennessee - 2016

Now 20% of the state's attorney generals have given negative opinions or rulings on the legality of DFS.

On Wednesday, April 6, Tennessee AG Herbert Slatery gave his opinion that not only is DFS illegal but all paid-entry fantasy sports are illegal in the state. Yes that includes season-long fantasy leagues that charge entry fees.

According to Legal Sports Report, the document from the AGs office started with this simple statement:


Do fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling under Tennessee law?



His opinion is that DFS is covered by the state's gambling laws. Part of his statement goes:

Fantasy sports contests fall within the broad definition of “gambling” under Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-501(1). The participants pay an entry fee in order to win a prize. A portion of the fees comprise the pot of funds that are paid out to the winning participants. By proffering these entry fees, participants agree to risk something of value for a profit – a portion of the pot.

Hence, the only remaining consideration is whether a participant’s ability to win a fantasy sports contest is to “any degree contingent on chance.” 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.

He indicated that the legislature could choose to exclude DFS from the definition of "gambling".

We're unsure what this means for DFS players in the state at the moment. That means our recommendation to you is to go play DFS until you can't anymore. The day of doom is likely coming.

Nick Schreck