Is online fantasy betting legal in Virginia?

Posted at 7:14 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 19:42:32-04

RICHMOND, VA -- With the start of the NFL season now behind us, fantasy football is now in full swing. You have likely seen the commercials advertising online fantasy sites like FanDuel or Draft Kings.

"Fantasy football -- I legitimately call it Christmas Time," Dan Mcinerney, a Fanduel user said.

"It is my favorite time of year," Mcinerney added.

While Mcinerney said he lost $20 bucks on the site last week, he plans on winning it back this weekend.

This raises the question of whether online fantasy betting is legal?

draft site

Websites like Draft Kings have become increasingly popular over the last few years.

According to legal experts the answer is yes, because it is classified according to law as a "skill-based" site and not a "luck-based" site. In essence it's classified the same way as stock trading. Some disagree.

"It is absolutely gambling," Bob Cabaniss, a recovering gambler who now runs Williamsville Wellness Center in Hanover, said.

Cabaniss, who said he lost millions over the years, fears that success on Fanduel or Draft Kings will lead to illegal sports gambling -- like visiting bookies.

"It is going to lead to more sports gambling without question," Cabaniss said.

A representative for FanDuel told WTKR that they do not believe their site creates addictions, as it is a skilled based site.

Experts remind players that all winnings are taxable.