There are so many sports betting terms out there, that sometimes it’s a little confusing knowing what is what. That’s why we use this article to explain to you the difference between daily fantasy sports and sports betting. We’ll also go into detail about the legality of both and what to expect in terms of legalization. When you’re betting online, it’s important to know what is allowed, what your rights are and what you’re getting yourself into. So if you’re a beginning (fantasy) sports bettor, read on.

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Before we go into the difference, let’s point out that fantasy sports and sports betting are actually very similar. Both involve betting on an outcome of a certain match or player. There is risk involved and there are cash prizes to win.


The difference, however, is, that in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), you are in charge of assembling your own team. In that regard, you have much more control about the outcome of your bet. Sports betting, on the other hand, let’s you place money the outcome of a match. Additionally, there are a lot of prop bets available. In football that could, for example, be: who will score the first touch down? Which player is first to go down? Although both bet on the outcome, in DFS you’re in charge of who you have on your team, to begin with. Additionally, DFS requires the use of statistics, making it more skill based than just betting on an outcome.

Legality DFS

Despite the similarities, only DFS is completely legal in the US right now. Because of the extensive knowledge that is needed in addition to statistical research, US court deemed DFS a game of skill. Although opinions might differ on the matter, it’s 100% legal to play (daily) fantasy sports in the US.

Legality sports betting

Sports betting, on the other hand, is well underway to gain the same legal status as DFS. In August 2018 the Supreme court decided that there was no lawful ground to keep sports betting illegal. This case opened the way for each individual state to start regulating the matter. New Jersey was very quick to do so, you can bet on sports there legally. Alongside Las Vegas, of course. Other states are still in the process, some are reluctant, but others progressive. It’s not certain when you can place sports bets legally all over the US, but it will likely be soon. Sportsbooks put pressure on states to regulate the matter, which is only fair.

Sports betting in the US

As of now, you can only legally place sports bets in the states that have provided regulations for it. It’s undoubtedly possible to place online bets regardless of the state you’re based but there are few things to say about that. First of all, it’s not legal. So if you’re sports betting at overseas sites that can be risky in terms of payouts. That’s because if for some reason US access gets shut down, chances are you lose access to your money. On a more general note, there is a simple reason for not doing it: it’s not yet legal.

Period of transition

It’s an interesting period of transition we’re in. It’s actually quite paradoxical when you think about it. The highest US court has deemed the rule that forbids sports betting unlawful. Nevertheless, you and I can’t place sports bets legally yet, because we’re waiting for states to provide regulation on the matter. Essentially you could say that sports betting online is not illegal but also not legal. However, with no regulations yet in place regarding the matter we have no choice but wait until states bring about the required laws. Let’s hope it’s quick!

DFS and sports betting