Illinois official: Daily fantasy betting is illegal gambling

FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2015, photo, workers set up a DraftKings promotions tent in the parking lot of Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., before an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets. New York's attorney general on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, ordered the daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel to stop accepting bets in the state, saying their operations amount to illegal gambling. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ attorney general says daily fantasy sports betting is illegal gambling.

Lisa Madigan issued an opinion Wednesday declaring that illegal gambling occurs when someone “plays a game of chance or skill for money.”

Daily fantasy sports differ from traditional fantasy contests because they are played over short periods — a week or even a day. Winners are decided on achievements of real players on virtual teams.

One online betting provider — FanDuel — says in a statement it’s disappointed. FanDuel says Illinois loves fantasy sports and lawmakers should make betting legal.

Riverside Democratic Rep. Mike Zalewski (zuh-LESS’-kee) introduced legislation in October to legalize the contests. He said in a statement Wednesday that the opinion gives the matter “clarity” as he negotiates legislation to make daily fantasy betting “safe, fun play.”

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