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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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Attorney General Jackley Statement on Fantasy Sports Wagering


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :    Monday, December 7, 2015 
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605)773-3215   


Attorney General Jackley Statement on Fantasy Sports Wagering

PIERRE, S.D.  – Attorney General Marty Jackley releases this further statement and update on fantasy sports wagering based upon actions occurring across the United States.
“Prosecutors are entrusted with the enormous responsibility of protecting society through criminal enforcement. Before bringing a criminal action that has the lawful authority to take away ones liberty and freedom, a prosecutor must be satisfied that the law is clear and that a knowing violation is supported by the evidence. Based upon the current state of uncertainty, including the ongoing debate on whether daily fantasy sports wagering is predominately a permissive game of skill or an unlawful game of chance, it will not be my intent to seek felony indictments here in South Dakota absent a clearer directive from our state legislature. I will continue to consider other alternatives including potential civil remedies and National Attorneys General joint action aimed at protecting the intent of our Constitutional and statutory provisions,” said Jackley.
Attorney General Jackley has provided the South Dakota Gaming Commission with the opportunity to provide guidance, and will continue to do so in relation to any potential future civil matters, and he has considered the actions of and discussions with other State Attorneys General. It is also important to recognize that Federal law, the state in which a wager is made, and the state in which a wager is received, may have jurisdiction over such wagering.
In 2011, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Council issued a legal opinion concluding the Wire Act only banned sports betting, leaving interpretation issues or other forms of internet gambling. On December 4, 2015, Attorney General Jackley joined 7 Attorneys General in a letter to the leadership of the Committee on Judiciary of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives urging the restoration of the Wire Act. This letter addresses the regulation of gambling transactions, which are interstate in nature and do not include gambling at brick-and-mortar facilities and intrastate lotteries, which are currently regulated at the state level. Based upon this Attorney General letter and request, Deadwood and South Dakota state sanctioned lottery should and would remain regulated by the State of South Dakota and not federal authorities under the Wire Act. South Dakota is joined by Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma and South Carolina on the December 7, 2015 letter.