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Different from its nearest neighbors, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, New York still places strict restrictions on online sports betting. NY Daily Fantasy Sports is an alternative, though, for sports fans wanting to get in on the fun. New York, from NYC to its northernmost border with Canada, is a state with legal Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). 

Fans in New York State can play all the major DFS platforms. This includes FanDuel and DraftKings, both of which explicitly list New York as one of its allowed states. However, you cannot play DFS for college sports in NYS.

In February 2020, a New York appeals court ruled that legalized DFS violated the state’s constitution, which outlaws gambling. Prior to this, DFS was legalized in 2016 because it’s considered a game of skill rather than chance. But because there are some elements of chance involved, the appeals court repealed most of the law.

However, that’s a lower appeals court. The New York State Court of Appeals will eventually hear this case. And in the meantime, locals can legally play all the DFS they want.

The Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites In New York State

DFS SiteBonus OfferEstimated Yearly Revenue
DraftKings20% deposit bonus up to $500$14 million
FanDuel$5 bonus with first deposit$10 million
FantasyDraftUp to $100 free rake per month$3 Million
Yahoo!1,000 Yahoo Sports Rewards Points with first deposit$5 Million

DraftKings DFS In New York State

Like its main competitor FanDuel, DraftKings has been a major name in New York State’s DFS options since fantasy sports became mainstream in the early 2010s. 

For folks who play DFS contests for the NFL (the most popular option in the US), they may prefer DraftKings for one key reason: the full point per reception. This is double that offered by FanDuel.

The reason this is appealing is that many players prefer receptions to be more weighted than other aspects of the game. DraftKings emphasizes this preference, and they also offer bonuses for specific in-game results like reaching a passing yards milestone.

For NBA DFS contests, DraftKings awards bonus points for three-pointers, double-doubles, triple-doubles, and so on.

However, when you play DFS on DraftKings, everyone is following the same rules. It’s not like you’re competing against FanDuel players and DraftKings gives you an advantage. Instead, it’s just a matter of gameplay preference.

Where DraftKings really separates itself is with its exclusive contest called, “The Tiers.” Rather than choose players based on a salary limit like with regular DFS, you simply choose one player from each tier. The Tiers are available for NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL DFS.

DraftKings also has an exclusive DFS partnership with the WNBA, meaning FanDuel does not (and cannot) offer WNBA DFS.

Otherwise, DraftKings and FanDuel are pretty much identical. Which one you choose is wholly based on how you like to play DFS and the types of sports you enjoy. That’s why it’s always recommended that brand-new DFS players try out both.

FanDuel DFS In New York State

FanDuel DFS is DraftKings’ biggest competitor. And while DK brings in 40 percent more revenue, the win potential and gameplay are relatively comparable between the two.

Both sites also have regularly rotating welcome bonus offers. We do our best to consistently update the above and below tables, but one may be more lucrative than the other on a month to month basis. Make sure you check the sites firsthand if you’re deciding which to join based on the bonuses.

Where FanDuel DFS really separates itself from DraftKings is with the exclusive Beat the Score contests as well as the Mini Contests.

To win Beat the Score, your selected players need only beat the predetermined score to win a payout. Wins are split among all those who “beat the score” rather than to the highest-scoring contestants. In fact, everyone receives the same payout, whether they beat the score by a half-point or 20.

FanDuel Mini is another innovative alternative to traditional DFS where you can quickly draft five players. It’s the same as regular DFS, just with fewer players, and the salary cap is adjusted accordingly.

FanDuel also has significantly more exclusivity deals with sports leagues than DraftKings. While DK boasts WNBA exclusivity, FanDuel offers Euroleague basketball, the Canadian Football League (CFL), UEFA Champions League Soccer, and the PGA European Tour.

But if you’re exclusively into standard DFS for the most mainstream leagues like the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL, the two platforms are difficult to contrast. However, if you like European soccer, the Champions League option makes FanDuel a no-brainer.

DraftKings vs. FanDuel In New York State

Bonus Offer20% deposit bonus up to $500$5 bonus with first deposit
Exclusive ContestsThe TiersBeat the Score
Popular alternative gameplaysLate Swaps (switching players after game began)Mini Contests
Exclusive League OfferingsWNBAEuroleague basketball, CFL, Champions League Soccer, PGA European Tour
League PartnershipsNFL, MLBNHL, NBA
High-Roller BenefitsThe higher the stakes, the lower the rakeExclusive access to contests for the most experienced players

Other New York DFS Sites

For starters, the DFS platforms Monkey Knife Fight and PrizePicks are not available in New York State. This is likely because of New York State’s uncertain legality surrounding DFS.

But FanDuel DFS and DraftKings DFS aren’t the only options in the state. You can also try out Yahoo! Sports DFS as well as FantasyDraft.

Both of these alternatives offer real-money DFS contests for players in NYS. 

The advantage of playing FantasyDraft is that they cover all rake fees per month up to $100. They also offer memberships that cost monthly fees but cover even more of the rake fees.

For both Yahoo! DFS and FantasyDraft, the competition is weaker than at DraftKings and FanDuel. Much like online poker sites (which are illegal in NYS), the most experienced players go for the highest paying contests, and those are at FanDuel and DraftKings.

Is DFS Explicitly Legal In New York State?

DFS was explicitly legal in New York State until February 2020, which is when a lower appeals court overturned pro-DFS legislation passed in 2016.

The issue is whether DFS is considered gambling or not. Because it’s been successfully argued in most US states that DFS is mostly based on skill, it’s largely considered a non-gambling activity. 

But critics argue that there is a considerable degree of luck involved because contestants are relying on the performance of others as well as other factors, including weather, injuries, and officiating.

Today, people in the state can legally play DFS. Whether or not that changes will be up to the New York State Court of Appeals, which will ultimately decide whether or not legalizing DFS is in violation of the New York State constitution.

See our full Guide To New York Sports Betting

Is It Safe To Play DFS In New York State?

Yes. Playing at any of the major Daily Fantasy Sports sites offered to players in New York State is completely safe.

By safe, we mean that your personal information is protected, you’ll be paid your winnings, and the contests aren’t rigged.

However, DFS means buying tickets to contests in the hopes of winning money. As much as FanDuel and DraftKings want to argue that that isn’t gambling, it can result in irresponsible gambling behaviors. In that sense, playing DFS can be unsafe.

Be sure to only play DFS with as much money as you can afford to lose. It should be for fun and entertainment, not to make any sort of reliable income.

What Are The Best Bonus Offers And Free New York DFS Contests?

Deposit Bonus

The most standard bonus offer is the deposit-matching bonus. This can be as simple as a credit in your account for making a deposit of any amount. It can also be more specific.

At the time of writing this NY DFS guide, DraftKings was offering a 20% deposit match up to $500. That means if you deposit $100, they’ll add $20 to your account as you play. To receive the maximum, you’d need to deposit $2,500.

However, terms and conditions do apply, namely the playthrough requirement.

Playthrough Requirement

To receive your deposit bonus, you’ll need to use a certain amount of money to unlock each dollar. For example, you’d receive $1 for every $25 spent at DraftKings until the full 20% deposit bonus is rewarded.

Free Contests

Free contests offered by FanDuel and DraftKings normally occur because they:

  • Are sponsored by third-party brands.
  • Would otherwise be considered gambling.
  • Center around the world’s biggest sporting events.

Free contests range in potential rewards but can earn relatively large cash prizes or reward points. For example, the March Madness pools can trigger a huge cash prize.

Leaderboard Tournaments

While not technically a bonus offer, leaderboard tournaments can win you “bonus money” in the sense that you’re rewarded for doing what you’d likely already be doing: playing DFS.

Scoring points toward the leaderboard is as simple as scoring points on regular DFS or winning contests. These are normally centered around a specific sport, such as the PGA Tour. Be sure to check the rules so you know exactly how they work.

Rewards Points

At both DraftKings and FanDuel, you receive reward points (FDP at FD, Crowns at DK) every time you use real money to buy a contest entry and pay rake. You can also win reward points through free contests, such as simulated sports DFS.

Find even more bonus codes in our New York online casinos guide.

What Are The Top Contests For DFS Players In New York State?

The top contests for DFS players are found at FanDuel and DraftKings. This applies to people in New York State and across the country.

By top contests, we mean the biggest winning potential. Many DFS strategists will argue that the best contests you can play give you the highest likelihood of any payout, not the biggest possible payout. 

And they’re likely right. Part of the skill of DFS is incrementally increasing your bankroll, not just going for the huge wins. So, to give you the best chance of maintaining net winnings, going for just the highest win potential probably isn’t the right move. 

But if you are looking to go big, below are some the biggest for the NFL to give you an example. And, bonus, lots of players still get some sort of payout (see: places paid).

Top 5 Biggest Daily Fantasy Sports Contests For The NFL (By Prize Pool)

DFSContestEntryPrize PoolTop PrizePlaces Paid
DraftKingsWeekly Millionaire Maker$20$7 million$1.2 million83,000
FanDuelNFL Sunday Million$25$6 million$1 million55,300
FanDuelSunday NFL Rush$5$2 million$150,00090,800
DraftKingsWeekly Play Action Content$3$1.15 million$100,000122,290
DraftKingsNFL Blitz Fantasy Contest$300$1 million$150,000740

See our complete guide to Playing Daily Fantasy Sports In The US

New York State Daily Fantasy Sports FAQ

18. The age requirement for DFS in New York State is 18 years or older. This is true for all US states where DFS is legal except for a few where it’s 19 and up.

The legal gambling age at many tribal casinos in New York is 18 as well.

However, legal in-person sportsbooks in the state is 21 years and older. Online sports betting is currently not yet legal in New York State.

If you have net winnings of any amount over the course of the year, that’s considered taxable income in New York State. The state income tax rate is between 4% to 8.82% depending on the amount. The IRS also taxes gambling winnings. Federal income tax is 10% to 37% depending on your tax bracket.

When you receive $600 or more from a single entity in gambling winnings, that entity is legally required to report it to the IRS. The same is true for a fantasy sports site. So, net winnings over $600 from a single DFS site will mean you’ll receive a Form 1099 from them. But net losses at a different DFS site can offset what you owe overall for playing DFS. Check with your accountant or tax advisor.

The largest DFS contest in terms of contestants is the NFL Weekly Play Action Contest from DraftKings. The entry cap is 575,000, and the top 122,290 players are paid. But the grand prize is $100,000.

The largest prize pool in Daily Fantasy Sports is offered by DraftKings during the NFL season. The Weekly Millionaire Maker has a massive $7 million prize pool, and the first prize is $1.2 million. (Hence the name.) The entry cap is also 400,700, and the top 83,000 players receive a prize.

No. Playing DFS for college sports is currently blocked for people located in New York State. That includes both in-state and out-of-state schools.

For traditional sportsbook betting, you can’t bet on in-state colleges like Syracuse, Buffalo, St. John’s, Albany, or Army. But you can bet on out-of-state colleges from New York State.

Yes, New Yorkers can play DFS for esports at both FanDuel and DraftKings. 

Esports DFS has become especially common since the COVID-19 shutdowns. However, esports DFS will likely remain a standard option at both major sites, especially because it’s becoming more popular every year.

About the Author
Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani

Casino Content Manager
Mike Epifani is the Brand Content Manager at of the Catena Media network. As a highly experienced online gambling writer, Mike specializes in online casinos and sports betting; specifically, how to bet more while spending less. Mike spoke on the affiliate marketing panel at G2E 2022 in Las Vegas, and won "Casino Affiliate of the Year" at the 2022 SBC Awards North America.

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