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California DFS Controversy: WagerWire Defends Fantasy Sports



The Battle for Fantasy: California’s DFS Dilemma and WagerWire’s Defiant Stand

Fantasy sports enthusiasts and bettors in California face a pivotal moment. WagerWire, a prominent player in the sports betting marketplace, has stepped into the legal fray to defend Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). With California’s legal investigation threatening the future of DFS, WagerWire’s bold stance champions the rights of startups and the economic benefits of fantasy sports. Read on to understand the stakes, the arguments, and how this battle could shape the landscape of sports betting and fantasy sports in California and beyond.

WagerWire, a beacon in the sports betting marketplace, has recently made headlines by submitting a critical letter to California’s Attorney General. This letter is a testament to the company’s unwavering support for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the Golden State. In a bold move, the company publicly aligned itself with The Coalition for Fantasy Sports. This coalition, a powerhouse group of fantasy sports providers, includes notable names like Underdog Fantasy, PrizePicks, and Betr.

The trigger for WagerWire’s proactive step was California State Senator Scott Wilks’ call for a legal examination into DFS contests. Wilks posits that DFS, much like sports wagering, is a game of chance. His argument hinges on the unpredictability of player performance, which he believes renders DFS a gamble.

In response, Attorney General Rob Bonta initiated a thorough investigation to ascertain if DFS contests fall foul of California’s gambling statutes. This investigation has ignited a debate that could redefine the legal landscape for fantasy sports in California.


Central to this debate is a “Request for Comments Regarding Attorney General Opinion 23-1001”. This pivotal inquiry seeks to determine the legality of DFS operations within California’s borders. It’s a question with far-reaching implications, not just for operators but for the entire DFS ecosystem in California.

WagerWire’s founders, UCLA alumni Zach Doctor, Travis Geiger, and Guy Dotan, argue that sidelining DFS could detrimentally affect California’s economy. The startup scene, vibrant and crucial to the state’s economic fabric, stands to lose significantly. WagerWire itself, deeply rooted in California, faces potential upheaval, with relocation being a stark possibility if DFS is deemed illegal.

The stakes are high. California’s DFS market, the largest in the United States, generates over $200 million in entry fees annually. Yet, due to the current unregulated status of the industry, the state sees no tax revenue from these transactions. WagerWire’s call to action, urging companies to voice their support for DFS, is a critical step in this unfolding saga.

The legal scrutiny of DFS in California is not unprecedented. In 2015, former Assemblyman Marc Levine sought a similar investigation, though then-Attorney General Kamala Harris did not release an opinion. The ongoing investigation, therefore, marks a significant moment in California’s engagement with the DFS industry.


Comparatively, other states have taken decisive action against certain DFS contests. Michigan and New York, for instance, banned DFS pick’em games, deeming them too akin to sports betting. Maine, while not banning pick’em games outright, fined Underdog Fantasy for what it classified as illegal DFS activities, leading to the withdrawal of these games from the state.

WagerWire’s initiative is more than a defense of its business interests; it’s a stand for the broader DFS community in California. By challenging the notion that DFS is merely a game of chance, WagerWire highlights the skill, analysis, and strategy that dedicated players bring to the table. This distinction between chance and skill is at the heart of the legal debate over DFS and sports betting.

The implications of California’s investigation extend beyond the legal sphere. They touch on issues of economic impact, digital innovation, and the evolving nature of sports entertainment. As WagerWire and others await the outcome, the broader question looms: How will California balance the burgeoning digital sports economy with regulatory oversight?

In conclusion, the battle over DFS in California is emblematic of a larger national dialogue on sports betting, digital entertainment, and the law. WagerWire’s stance is a beacon for those advocating for a nuanced understanding of fantasy sports. As the investigation proceeds, the outcomes will undoubtedly resonate beyond California, influencing the future of DFS and sports betting across the United States.


The DFS controversy in California is more than a legal battle; it’s a pivotal moment that could define the future of fantasy sports and sports betting. WagerWire’s courageous stand underscores the importance of defending innovation and economic growth against overly broad legal interpretations. As the situation unfolds, the eyes of the nation will be on California, waiting to see how it navigates the complex interplay of law, technology, and sports.

Andrew, a seasoned specialist in sports writing, joins the Gamingo.News editorial team, enriching our coverage with his profound expertise in sports journalism. His fascination with the sports industry ignited in his university days, where he excelled in collegiate sports analysis, eventually steering him towards the dynamic realm of sports betting and online gaming forums. Armed with a wealth of insight and experience, Andrew now channels his fervor for sports into insightful reporting, offering our readers exclusive updates and in-depth perspectives on the latest online gaming trends.

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