Daily Fantasy Sports in Illinois 2020

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If you’re looking to play daily fantasy sports in Illinois then you’ve come to the right place. Our comprehensive guide has everything you need to know about DFS in one convenient location. 

Learn about the legality of daily fantasy sites, the basics to playing DFS and where to find the best fantasy sports apps.

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Bonus will be awarded instantly in MKF Dollars. MKF Dollars are usable in place of cash on Monkey Knife Fight, once they are played, they are treated like cash. MKF Dollars have no cash value. MKF Dollars are not eligible for cashout. MKF Dollars are not transferable. MKF Dollars may be reclaimed if they go unused for a period of more than 3 months. MKF Dollars will be invalidated across all accounts if a user opens more than one account. MKF Dollars were previously referred to as promotional funds.

MKF is playable in: AK, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, IL, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, NE, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, VT, WV, WI, & WY.

On April 16th, 2020 the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that certain daily fantasy sports in Illinois were legal under State law. The decision overruled a previous opinion by former Illinois Attorney General in 2015, which classified all DFS as illegal gambling. 

At the moment, DFS head-to-head competitions are considered legal in Illinois.

The Supreme Court’s ruling was made after four years of deliberation in the case of Dew-Becker vs Wu. The plaintiff in the case sued after losing $100 in a head-to-head DFS competition back in 2016. 

He alleged that DFS constituted illegal gambling which entitled him to recover his losses under Illinois law. The Court, however, ruled in favor of the defendant, stating that DFS head-to-head competitions are based on skill rather than luck. 

It should be noted that the Court specifically used the words ‘head-to-head’ DFS competitions. Thus, the judgment is not expected to extend to other types of daily fantasy sports in Illinois.

Penalty Box Provision

The opinion of the Illinois AG in 2015 was used as the basis for a ‘penalty box’ provision in Illinois’s 2019 sports betting bill. The provision bars any operator that offers ‘illegal’ DFS from entering the Illinois mobile sports market for 18 months. 

Most top DFS sites offer a variety of DFS competitions in addition to head-to-head competitions. If these contests are considered illegal, they could result in the operators having to wait 18 months to enter the mobile sports market. This could greatly slow down the roll out of DFS in Illinois.

For now, what we know for sure is that head-to-head DFS is fully legalized in Illinois. If the Court further decides that other fantasy sports competitions are lawful we could see DFS sites launch in a hurry. Another possibility is the Court finding the penalty box provision unlawful, which would at least allow head-to-head competitions on top sites.

Playing Daily Fantasy Sports – How does it Work?

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DFS requires you to create a team of professional athletes who earn points based on their performance in real-world competitions. The points are tallied up and the goal is to have the highest number of points among your competitors. 

Winners receive a share of a predetermined prize pool funded by the entry fees of all participants. A small portion of entry fees goes towards DFS sites as a commission.

Picking a Roster

At the beginning of each DFS competition, each player will be required to draft a roster. A majority of daily fantasy sites use a salary cap system. 

In salary cap drafts each athlete has their own cost and each player must create a team without going over a specific cap. Generally, the more elite an athlete is the higher the price tag is.

Points and Winners

When an athlete on your team plays in a real-world competition they collect points based on their performance. The points from all your athletes are added together which is your final score. 

Each contest will have a given number of winners disclosed before the contest begins. If your score is high enough to get you into one of the winning places you will be paid out based on your place.

Fantasy Sports Basics

DFS sports competitions are skilled based games where knowing the basics can be the difference between winning and losing. While each game type has the same formula of creating a team and earning points, different game types have slightly different rules. 

Some of the most popular game types included by most daily fantasy sites are:

Different Types of Fantasy Leagues to Play

The following are the different types of Fantasy Leagues you can play.

Head-to-head- A one-on-one competition in which you face a single opponent for a set buy-in. The competitor that creates the higher scoring roster wins the entire prize pool.

50/50s- 50/50s are larger field competitions that require players to finish within the top 50% in scoring. The top half of 50/50s split the cash pool evenly nearly doubling their entry fee. 

Multipliers- similar to 50/50s, multipliers use large fields that reward a significant percentage of DFS sports players. The difference is, multipliers can be anywhere from 2X to 10X a player’s buy-in. 

Example: $10 buy-in gets $100 back if player can make the top 10% of scoring

Types of DFS Contests

When it comes to contest types, there are two primary categories. These are:

  • Cash Games
  • Guaranteed Prize Pools

Cash games include single entry, flat payout structure, and smaller contest sizes.

On the other hand, game types you can enjoy in Guaranteed Prize Pools are multiple entries, tiered payout structure, and larger contest sizes. 

Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites

Over the past decade, a number of online fantasy sports operators have begun to spring up. Three DFS sports sites, however, have been able to separate themselves from the pack: DraftKings, FanDuel, and Monkey Knife Fight.

FanDuel

The New-York based online fantasy sports betting site and sportsbook, FanDuel has been around since 2009. It is the second biggest DFS provider in the US behind DraftKings. In early 2018 Irish bookmaker, Paddy Power Betfair, acquired FanDuel to expand its foothold in the US market.

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DFS sports contests are available both via desktop and a fantasy sports app at FanDuel. The site features a variety of contest types including head-to-head, tournaments, multipliers, and 50/50s. DFS sports and leagues available for competitions include the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, MMA, and Tennis.

While FanDuel has yet to launch daily fantasy sports in Illinois, it will undoubtedly be one of the first operators available. Given the legalization of sports betting in Illinois, you can expect the site to go live with the sports betting section as well.

DraftKings

DraftKings has long been a leader in the American online fantasy sports industry. The site currently has over 10 million users, making it one of the most popular DFS sites in the world.

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The DraftKings platform is aimed towards mobile DFS, with a fantasy sports app available on both Android and iOS. DFS sports available include MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA, PGA, Premier League, NASCAR, CFL, XFL, UFC, and Tennis. 

One of the key selling points of DraftKings is the massive prize pools available for some of the bigger tournaments and contests. Players can also take part in a number of smaller competitions including head-to-head contests and Multipliers.

Much like FanDuel, expect DraftKings to be one of the first sites to provide daily fantasy sports in Illinois. The launch, however, could be delayed based on the Penalty Box provision, potentially locking DraftKings out for 18 months.

Monkey Knife Fight

Get Bonus Cash Up To $50

MAXBONUS

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Bonus will be awarded instantly in MKF Dollars. MKF Dollars are usable in place of cash on Monkey Knife Fight, once they are played, they are treated like cash. MKF Dollars have no cash value. MKF Dollars are not eligible for cashout. MKF Dollars are not transferable. MKF Dollars may be reclaimed if they go unused for a period of more than 3 months. MKF Dollars will be invalidated across all accounts if a user opens more than one account. MKF Dollars were previously referred to as promotional funds.

MKF is playable in: AK, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, IL, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, NE, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, VT, WV, WI, & WY.

One of the newer online fantasy sports operators, Monkey Knife Fight, has taken DFS by storm in the US. The site currently operates four different game types with buy-ins that range from freerolls to $1000. The site’s fantasy sports app is available on both Android/Apple devices and is rated very highly by users.

When daily fantasy sports in Illinois takes off, look for MKF to be right there at the forefront. As far as online fantasy sports providers go, Monkey Knife Fight is right up there with the best of them. A welcome offer is currently available in other states, so expect a juicy promotional incentive when the site enters Illinois.

How to Get Started Playing DFS

To get started playing daily fantasy sports in Illinois you must first make your pick from the DFS sites. Some of the top DFS sites you should consider are DraftKings, FanDuel and Monkey Knife Fight.

After you pick an operator you will be required to sign up for a DFS betting account. To do this you may either visit the operator’s website or download a fantasy sports app and fill out their registration form. Personal details such as your mailing address and SSN may be required to verify your identity.

After registering you can sign in and make a deposit using a payment method of your choice. Most daily fantasy sites accept credit cards and select online payment providers. With a funded account you can buy-in to a DFS contest of your choice. Funds will immediately be collected from your account upon entry. 

*Be sure to look out for any introductory bonus offers when picking daily fantasy sites. Most daily fantasy sites give new users the chance to collect bonus cash on their first deposit. 

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