MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama’s attorney general says online fantasy sports betting sites are illegal according to state law.
Cease and desist letters have been issued to daily fantasy sports sites, DraftKings and FanDuel, by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.
The sites have until May 1st to cease all paid contests in the state of Alabama.
Strange said in a statement Tuesday that his office has reviewed state gambling laws and issued the cease and desist letters.
“Daily fantasy sports operators claim that they operate legally under Alabama law. However, paid daily fantasy sports contests are in fact illegal gambling under Alabama law,” said Strange in a press release.
In paid daily fantasy sports, players create a roster from real-life players in a certain sport and compete to get the highest score. Each player is awarded points based on their performance in the game. Rosters with the highest number of points receive a payout based on the number of people in the contest.
These websites operate in a gray area. They contend picking players for a fantasy team is a skill, but the Attorney General says contestants have no control over the performance of the players on their rosters. As a result, they contend the results of a contest depend on a large degree of chance.
Strange says an activity is considered illegal gambling if a person bets anything of value on a contest of chance to win a prize, even when skill is part of the betting process.
Strange says Alabama and 11 other states have declared paid daily fantasy sports contests illegal.