Most fantasy football leagues deemed illegal in Kansas - KCTV5

Most fantasy football leagues deemed illegal in Kansas

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TOPEKA, KS (KCTV) -

For some fantasy football is the best thing about football season, but according to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission some forms of fantasy football are now illegal.

Chiefs fan Justin Walker has been getting together with his pals and playing fantasy football for years. He says that, thanks to fantasy football, other members of his family are getting involved in the sport.

"My sister definitely always talks about how she followed the Chiefs, but now that she plays fantasy football with my friends, she's right there with us watching the Red Zone package every week," he said.

Fantasy football is a game where football fans draft real National Football League players to their teams and play each other based on the players' real-life stats. It's been around for more than 30 years but, according to the gaming commission, if chance and prize are more prominent than skill, it's considered gambling.

"In short, if a fantasy sports league has a buy-in (no matter what it is called) for its managers and gives a prize, then all three elements of an illegal lottery are satisfied," they are quoted as saying on their website.

Most fantasy football fans KCTV5 talked to were baffled by the information.

"It seems kind of ridiculous to me," Walker said.

"I think it's a way of people getting together, having fun, watching games and getting more involved in the sport," said Katie Schmitt of Overland Park.

"Entertainment valve. I think it's fine. It's just like a poker game at somebody's house, same difference as far as I'm concerned," said Chiefs fan Allen Martin.

The Kansas findings are similar to ones in Florida. Both states say it's up to local police to uphold the law.

Fans didn't seem to think this will discourage them from playing. They say it's more about getting friends together than it is about betting on any games.

"I don't think it's illegal really, it's not really gambling. People do it for fun and I think, as long as it's fun and no one is losing money, I think it's alright," said Sergio Aguilar of Overland Park.

"If it's within reason and it's within the law, it's good by me," said Garrett Brown of Overland Park.

The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission admits that some skill is involved in fantasy football, but they say situations like player injuries make it more of a game of chance then skill.

The Missouri Gaming Commission said their jurisdiction is limited to riverboat gambling and charitable bingo, so they don't take a position on fantasy football. They said that is up to county prosecutors.

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