Daily fantasy sports are a controversial topic all over the USA. While DFS is outlawed in nine US states (Arizona, Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, and Washington State) and explicitly legal in others, many states have not made a decision yet either way. The majority of states have not passed legislation one way or the other, meaning that DFS sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel can be accessed legally.
Wisconsin is yet another of these states which has so far remained in the gray area when it comes to DFS. While there has been talk of legislation being brought in to regulate Wisconsin daily fantasy sports, so far nothing has been passed. This means that you can play DFS in Wisconsin without breaking any laws.
If you want to know more about daily fantasy sports in the USA, take a look at our general daily fantasy sports page.
- We stay on top of relevant industry news and developments by using trusted sources like the Wisconsin State Journal and the Kenosha News.
- We can help you with more than just sports betting. Our dedicated teams span the gambling industry so whether you want information on slots or online roulette, we can help.
- We make sure that we are up to date with any changes to local laws by following State of Wisconsin Department of Gaming and State of Wisconsin Office of Indian Gaming and Regulatory Compliance.
Online Daily Fantasy Sports in Wisconsin – Overview
Although Wisconsin daily fantasy sports have not been made legal, and never have been, there has been some movement on the subject in recent years. In Fall of 2017, the state congress revived previously dead debates on whether or not to legalize DFS in Wisconsin. Rep. Tyler Vorpagel filed a bill seeking to legalize and regulate DFS, arguing that it is a game of skill and not luck, and therefore should not be considered gambling. This was the second time that Vorpagel had filed a bill with this aim.
Lorri Pickens, executive director of Citizens Against Expanding Gambling, summarized the oppositions argument: “When you look at brick and mortar gambling, the youth do not do that. They don’t go into a casino physically and play poker, but they’re very inclined to do things online. The industry does know this. This is their future.”
Vorpagel hoped to introduce regulations into the DFS industry which would have required operators to register with the Department of Financial Institutions, conduct audits, and prohibit employees from participating in games. He was unsuccessful though, and DFS remains in limbo in Wisconsin.
It is, of course, still possible to play DFS in the state, however, so let’s take a look at the sports which are available.
Online Daily Fantasy NFL – Green Bay Packers
The NFL is the most popular fantasy league as it is, but it always adds something extra if you have a personal interest in the game. This is certainly true for those living in Wisconsin, as the Green Bay Packers play in the NFL. This team is actually the third oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919. It is also the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the USA, so Wisconsin residents can be very proud!
To take part in fantasy NFL, you need to draft a team. You must choose nine players while staying within the $50,000 salary cap, so think hard about who it worth the money. You can keep swapping players out until the scheduled start time of the game.
Online Daily Fantasy MLB – Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers are a great reason to be interested in major league baseball if you are from Wisconsin. Although the team actually started out in Seattle, it was relocated after only one season and has been the Milwaukee Brewers ever since.
A fantasy MLB team consists of ten players. No more than five hitters can come from any one team, and there is a salary cap as usual. It should also be noted that hitting statistics for pitchers will not be counted and pitching statistics for hitters will not be counted.
Online Daily Fantasy NBA – Milwaukee Bucks
There are a number of options available in Wisconsin if you are wanting to join a fantasy league in which there is a vested interest. The Milwaukee Bucks have been playing in the NBA since 1968. In that time, they have won one league title, two conference titles, and fourteen division titles. They are also known for their star players, including Abdul-Jabbar and Giannis Antetokounmpo who have both been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player while playing for the Bucks.
If you want to create a fantasy NBA team, you must draft eight players: a point guard, a guard, a shooting guard, a small forward, a power forward, a forward, two centers, and one utility player. Again, the total salaries for your team must not exceed $50,000, and the team must include players from at least two different NBA games.
Online Daily Fantasy NHL – Milwaukee Admirals
Although Milwaukee does not have a team in the NHL, it does have one in the American Hockey League: the Milwaukee Admirals. Bizarrely, the team is actually named after a brand of household appliances sold in the store belonging to one of the investors, Erwin J. Merar. The Admirals are affiliated with the Nashville Predators NHL team.
The NHL may not be quite a popular as some of the other fantasy leagues, but it is by no means a small league either. To get involved, you must draft nine players while staying within that salary cap: two centers, three wingers, two defensemen, one goalie, and one utility spot.
College Fantasy Sport – Wisconsin Badgers
There are actually an impressive four teams from Wisconsin competing in the NCAA Division I: Green Bay Phoenix, Marquette Golden Eagles, Milwaukee Panthers, and Wisconsin Badgers. While there is plenty to say about each of these, the Wisconsin Badgers’ football team is definitely worth mentioning. It is among the most successful football program in the Big Ten since the early 1990s when Barry Alvarez became the team coach. Under Alvarez, the Badgers won three Big Ten Championships and three Rose Bowls. Since then, the program has won numerous other titles, and two members have won the prestigious Heisman Trophy as well.
Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation
It has been a long process to get any kind of gambling legalized in Wisconsin; many laws have come into place far later here than in other states. It is interesting to see how things have progressed, so we have put together a table with important events in Wisconsin’s gambling history.
If you would like to know more about gambling in Wisconsin in general, take a look at the Wisconsin gambling page.
|1973||Certain types of charitable gambling are made legal, including bingo and raffle-style games.|
|1987||After the successful amendments to the state bingo and raffle laws, lottery operators are also given the green light. Pari-mutuel betting is made legal on horse and greyhound racing.|
|1988||The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act is passed at a federal level. In Wisconsin, casino licenses are given to eleven tribes.|
|1993||A constitutional amendment was ratified to clear up the state’s gambling laws. The clarification states that all forms of gambling are illegal, except bingo, raffles, pari-mutuel betting and lotteries.|
|2007||An attempt is made in the state to legislate casino gaming in non-tribal land. The bill is vetoed by Governor Kim Doyle.|
Legal Daily Fantasy Betting Age in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a little more complicated than some states when it comes to the legal gambling age. Rather than having one age for all types of gambling, there are two different minimum ages depending on the form of gambling. To play bingo, raffles, off-track betting, and the lottery in Wisconsin, you must be at least 18 years old. However, in Wisconsin casinos, the minimum gambling age is 21 years old.
All casinos in Wisconsin must be located on tribal land, and each tribe must enter into a gaming pact with the state and pay for a license. Local jurisdictions must approve which type of gambling takes place. The majority of them have approved full-scale gambling (slots, video poker, table games) but some only allow slots and other electronic games.
Placing illegal bets is a misdemeanor in Wisconsin, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail. If you are in the business of gambling, penalties are much higher. If you are found to be operating your own unlicensed casino, you could face up to three and a half years in prison, or a fine of up to $10,000.
DFS Betting Age
Is Daily Fantasy Betting Legal Outside of the State?
Daily fantasy sports are more popular in America than in any other country, with a whopping 10% of the population active on DFS sites. While it might seem odd that Wisconsin has not formally made this form of gaming legal when it is so popular, this is actually not unusual. Taking a look at Wisconsin’s closest neighbors, it is clear that this is actually pretty common. In Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois the state of DFS is much the same as in Wisconsin. While it has not been made legal, residents of these states are free to play on DFS sites without fear of prosecution. The exception is Iowa which is one of only nine states in the USA where DFS has been made illegal.
The Best Fantasy Sports App in Wisconsin
There isn’t much that you can’t do from your smart phone these days, so it is no surprise that you can access Wisconsin daily fantasy sports on it too. The majority of sites have optimized their websites for mobile users, so you should have no trouble picking your team or following the results. Even better, a lot of operators have also created downloadable apps which make your user experience even smoother.
Taxes on Daily Fantasy Winnings: Legal Overview
Gambling winnings are fully taxable in Wisconsin and must be reported on your income tax return. If your winnings total less than $2,000, you will be paid the entire sum without any deductions, but this must still be reported to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
All gambling winnings are subject to federal tax which is a flat rate of 25%. On top of this, many states also have a state tax, which can be anything between 0-9%. In Wisconsin, the state tax is fairly high at 7.75%. This will be automatically withheld from your winnings if it applies.
Upcoming Regulation Changes to Be Aware Of
While there has been some movement regarding laws on Wisconsin daily fantasy sports, no bill has made it very far yet. Rep. Tyler Vorpagel is keen to make progress, but since both of his bills have been shot down, it looks like it will still be a while until the rest of Wisconsin sees it his way. As for online gambling in the state, an amendment to the 1993 constitutional amendment would need to occur before the possibility of online gambling could be discussed.