Daily Fantasy Sports Illegal in Vermont


Posted: January 18, 2016

Updated: June 5, 2017

John Treadwell raised his voice against the legalization of Daily Fantasy Sports. He said that Daily Fantasy Sports are illegal in Vermont, with reference to anti-gambling laws from 1797.

John Treadwell, a top law enforcement official raised his voice against the legalization and regulation of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Vermont. On Friday, the state’s legislature discussed the bill that would create an exception for DFS in the anti-gambling laws of Vermont. “Our opinion is that daily fantasy sports fall within the coverage of Vermont’s gambling statutes,” declared Treadwell in front of the Senate Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee.

“Exalting one version of gambling above others does not seem appropriate”

Bill S.223 proposes to regulate DFS contests and establish consumer protections for players. It was introduced by Senator Kevin Mullin, Rutland Country Republican, who leads the committee. Treadwell recommended that the committee discards the bill. He said that the bill “takes one variety of illegal, for-profit gambling and makes it legal without any consideration for why this particular one is being chosen and others are not.”

As of now, the state had taken no legal action against DFS companies or players. In his response, Mullin asked Treadwell why none of the approx. 100,000 DFS players had been prosecuted. It’s because gambling had “not been an enforcement priority,” answered Treadwell. The dispute about DFS’s status persist. Operators, such as Draft Kings and Fan Duel say that gambling laws should not apply to DFS since they’re about skill, not chance. “The level of skill that goes into building the lineups is very high. You have to be incredibly knowledgeable about the game, about the matchups,” said Chris Grimm, a pro-DFS lobbyist.

Daily Fantasy Sports are illegal in Vermont because the element of Chance

“There is an element for chance,” said Treadwell. Which is undeniable, since the outcomes might be affected by the weather or player injuries. Treadwell recounted the words of an Illinois attorney general: “entering into daily fantasy sports sites is no different than wagering on the outcome of sporting events and is therefore prohibited under that state’s gambling statute.” Click here for the full version of Bill S.223.

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