How To Make Sure Your Fantasy Football League Complies With Michigan Law

Written By Matt Schoch on August 6, 2021
Fantasy Football Legal Michigan August 2021

Many Michigan sports fans have an annual tradition this time of year: getting together with family or friends for their annual fantasy football drafts.

These types of events, in addition to your office NCAA Tournament bracket pools, have mostly existed in a legal gray area.

However, guidelines have officially been put into place for your fantasy football league with your college buddies or work friends.

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bills into law, Michigan sports betting became legal. The popular online portion of the sector launched early this year.

What’s legal in your home fantasy football draft?

After Whitmer signed the bills, the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act was made into law. In addition to laying out a framework of protections for daily fantasy sports players through fantasy contests, your local home fantasy draft was also given guidance.

Michigan law does allow an individual to offer one or more fantasy contests from his or her private residence if:

  • The contests are not made available to the general public.
  • Each contest is limited to no more than 15 total fantasy contest players.
  • The individual collects no more than $10,000 in total entry fees for all fantasy contests offered in a calendar year.
  • At least 95% of entry fees are awarded to the fantasy contest players.

If your local league follows those guidelines, the Michigan Gaming Control Board will not regulate these fantasy contests.

Follow the guidelines, or you need to be licensed by MGCB

If you stray from these guidelines, you would be considered an entity that needs to be licensed by the MGCB.

The MGCB released draft rules recently that operators and management companies need to adhere to after they are put into effect.

That process is ongoing, and here’s a story we did this summer about consumer protections being built into the rules.

That’s the long story. The short version? Follow the rules above, and your fantasy football league will be just fine in the eyes of the law.

Now, if only you were better at drafting your team.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He’s also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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