Eager to play Daily Fantasy Sports but unsure if it’s legal to do so in your state? In this guide, we’ll unveil the legal landscape of DFS across the U.S., revealing where you have the all-clear—and the current availability of Sleeper Picks.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a popular way for sports fans and gamers to add to their excitement and enjoyment surrounding their favorite teams and leagues. But as is the case across the industry, with an exponential increase in popularity and interest comes additional rules and regulations.  

The ability to participate legally in DFS and contests like it depends on where you’re situated. Since there is no unified, country-wide position on the matter, states across the U.S. have been regulating DFS by state law, which can lead to some confusion over where you are able to take part — parsed all the way down to which platforms and which kinds of games are available in certain locations.

This article demystifies the topic of DFS legality in the U.S. Let’s get to it. 

DFS is not legal in all U.S. states, and its legality generally depends on which kind of competition you’re seeking and which platform you’re using. Adding to the complexity is the fact that just because a state has given the green light to DFS, it doesn’t mean all platforms necessarily have the OK to operate in that state. Even if they do, it does not mean all games on all platforms are able to be played in every location. 

States where some form of DFS is available to play include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Speaking generally and in simplest terms, DFS and traditional salary cap games, where you have a set amount of fictitious money to spend and fill out lineups with players of a given value, are not currently legal in Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Washington. 

Pick ‘Em games, in which you make selections based on player props and choose whether you think given players will have more or less than a certain statistic, are more exclusive, with 22 states not permitting that kind of action. Those states are Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia. 

As is the case with every platform in the DFS space, they don’t all have the clearance to operate in all states, so when you’re looking to get involved with DFS, it’s important to have complete clarity about the games you desire to play and where you can play them. As it relates to Sleeper in particular, things are a bit more specific. 

Sleeper’s availability differs based on which method of DFS you’re seeking to play. Since Sleeper offers a few methods of playing DFS, and each one comes with a different set of states where it’s able to be played, it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition. 

So for Sleeper’s paid-entry games more specifically:

Sleeper Picks, for which you select two or more players and then pick whether they will tally more or less than their expected stats, is available in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin. 

PicksVS, which is like Sleeper Picks but pits your statistical selections against those of other users, is available in Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Wyoming.

In this DFS game, players are placed into a pool of up to 5,000 contests, where they compete with other Sleeper users and follow a leaderboard to see who has the highest score. To maintain fair gameplay for different types of users, Sleeper classifies contestants as beginner, intermediate, or highly-experienced.

Daily Draft, where for each week of the NFL season you can draft a team—as if you were conducting a more traditional, season-long, snake-style fantasy draft, only it’s just for one week— is available in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.For the moment, you cannot utilize Sleeper in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington.

Be sure to stay alert for updates on the legal status of DFS. Legislation and prohibition regarding DFS, paid-entry contests and Sleeper’s availability are subject to change, meaning more states could permit Sleeper Picks and its various games in the future.

State Regulations of DFS Operators

Whether a DFS operator is legal in a certain state depends on a number of factors. Legislators and lawmakers will say there’s a fine line between DFS and sports gambling, and states can set their own parameters when it comes to how they permit DFS organizations to operate.

As stated above, a platform having the clearance to operate in a state does not mean it’s carte blanche—certain states, for instance, will not permit Pick ‘Em-style games for concern that they mimic gambling on player props too closely. Other states won’t permit games to include collegiate athletes. Others may have different age requirements beyond the standard 18-and-over rule by which most abide. Making matters even more complicated, some states may have location-based differences within the state, such as in Louisiana, where DFS legality varies by local parish.

On the flip side, some states don’t even really have legality parameters set for DFS, so games are free and able to run unregulated, barring any change to the status quo.

State-by-State Breakdown of DFS Platform Availability

StateSleeper PicksBetrFan DuelDraft KingsParlay PlayPrize PicksUnderdog
New HampshireNoNoYesYesNoNoNo
New JerseyNoNoYesYesNoNoNo
New MexicoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
New YorkNoNoYesYesNoYesYes
North CarolinaYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
North DakotaYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Rhode IslandYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
South CarolinaYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
South DakotaYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
West VirginiaNoNoYesYesYesYesYes

Frequently Asked Questions

Sleeper is legal and operational in Texas, but not all of Sleeper’s contests are permitted in the Lone Star State. Daily Draft and Sleeper Picks are available for all players in Texas, but PicksVS is not.

Sports betting may be illegal in California, but DFS is legal and permitted for all players. As it relates to Sleeper, Daily Draft and Sleeper PIcks are the paid-entry games that operate in the state.

Why can’t I play DFS in Las Vegas?

It seems a bit counterintuitive given how Vegas is the sports betting and gaming capital of the U.S.; however, since Nevada has ruled that DFS games qualify as gambling and not games of skill, it requires DFS companies to secure a Nevada sports pool license if they wish to operate in the state. 

That, in turn, would see those companies effectively acknowledge that their games are indeed considered to be gambling, which would then open up a litany of issues elsewhere with that precedent set; either more licenses would be necessary to operate in various locations, and in places where sports gambling is not yet legal but DFS is permitted it would create even more complexity and hoops to jump through. It’s little surprise, then, that, for now, no major DFS platforms operate in Nevada.

What are some other state-specific Sleeper rules?

In Alabama and Nebraska, users must be 19 or older to play. 

In Indiana, Sleeper Picks contests cannot include any college athletes.

In Massachusetts, users must be 21 or older to play and may deposit no more than $1,000 in a calendar month into their Sleeper Wallet; also, PicksVS contests cannot include college athletes. 

In Vermont, Sleeper Picks contests are limited to player fantasy point statistics and cannot include college athletes

Play Your Favorite Daily Fantasy Sport on Sleeper

Sleeper differs from other DFS operators by offering an enhanced experience, sleek interface and a social element you won’t find anywhere else. As long as you’re located in a state where the use of Sleeper’s DFS games is permitted, you can join in on the fun by signing up via our website or downloading the app. And be sure to stay attentive as Sleeper’s paid-entry DFS games become accessible and available in more locations in the future.