orrisey said that select fantasy sports games are dependant mainly on skill, and the state constitution prohibits private lotteries and other games because they are based on chance.
The AG contends that cash prizes from fantasy sports games depend upon a player’s skill in selecting athletes and the actual performance of those athletes, and that the activity is therefore not gambling.
West Virginia Senate President Bill Cole requested the opinion after Senate-approved legislation to permit fantasy sports died in the House of Delegates.
“Fantasy sports games are a bit different than games that are decided predominantly by chance,” Morrisey opined. “So if you play fantasy sports that are set up the right way, then this decision makes it clear that you can continue to participate.”
The AG advised, “We conclude that West Virginia does not prohibit the offering of or participation in fantasy sports games, as they are defined in Senate Bill 529. We read state law to prohibit only betting upon games decided at least predominantly by chance.
“Fantasy sports games, as defined in the Senate Bill, are not so decided.”
Read Morrisey's opinion.