Off-work hobbies like fantasy football used to be relegated to the basement of your neighbor’s house. Nowadays, playing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) online for money represents one of the fastest growing industries on the web.
But not everyone is able to freely participate, and access to sites like DraftKings is restricted in some regions. For example, DraftKings blocks players in certain states, including Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, and several others. These bans don’t always correlate to DFS being illegal in a state, but they sometimes do.
If you’re in a state where the service is restricted, you can bypass DraftKings location blocks with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Using a VPN, you can make it appear that you’re in a different location by switching your IP address.
We’ll explain how to do this below, but before moving forward, you should check your local laws to ensure that you are playing legally. Using a VPN to access DraftKings’ services should not be considered a method to illegally play online fantasy sports.
How to play DraftKings anywhere with a VPN
A VPN sends your internet traffic through a secondary server and assigns you an IP address from that location. You get to choose the location of the server, so you can make it appear that you’re anywhere. This means that no matter where you are, DraftKings will think you’re in a location where play is allowed. We’ll provide more detailed instrictions further down, but follow the steps below to unblock DraftKings.
Here’s how to unblock DraftKings anywhere with a VPN:
- Select a suitable VPN and subscribe. We recommend ExpressVPN for this purpose as it’s fast and reliable and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Install the relevant app for your device by downloading it from the VPN website or appropriate app store.
- Open the app and enter your new sign-in credentials.
- Select a server in a state where DraftKings doesn’t block players.
- Use your DraftKings account as normal.
Again, before doing this, be sure to check that DFS are not illegal in the state you’re in.
Note that if you have issues, it’s worth double-checking if DraftKings still works in the state you’ve switched to. The legal situation surrounding DFS is changing continuously, so sites like DraftKings may change their policy with little or no notice.
How to use ExpressVPN to unblock DraftKings
Never used a VPN before? It’s pretty simple. Here, we’ll provide detailed step-by-step instructions for signing up to ExpressVPN and accessing DraftKings from anywhere.
First, sign up for an ExpressVPN account. There are several subscription options available, but you’ll get better deals if you sign up for a longer term. Note that packages come with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can always get a refund if you’re not completely satisfied with the service.
Once you’ve selected your plan, you can enter your email address and choose a payment method.
Once your account has been successfully created and confirmed, download and install the ExpressVPN desktop client or mobile app and enter the activation code that you should have received via email.
When you’re logged in, you’ll see a location dropdown list. Click the list and select a US server in a state where DraftKings isn’t blocked.
Finally, click the button above Not Connected. The button should go from red to green and it will say Connected underneath.
Now it will appear that you’re in that state and you can access DraftKings with no issues.
(Note: You may alternatively choose Canadian servers if you think they’ll be a faster option based on distance from your geographical location.)
Why is DraftKings Fantasy Sports blocked?
The DraftKings blocks come down to gambling laws. Fantasy sports leagues represent a legal gray area, and every state in the US has different legislation regarding how games like this are controlled, taxed, and regulated.
Currently, DraftKings blocks play in seven states: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington. You can still open accounts in these states, but you can’t compete for prizes.
There are some exceptions, so you should consult DraftKings terms for full details. For example, Idaho residents who are physically located outside the state can make deposits and compete for prizes.
For now, the only players who are cleared to play for prizes on DraftKings abroad are those who live in Canada. If you live somewhere else, you may get the dreaded “Location Not Found” message the next time you try to make a deposit.
Whether DraftKings Fantasy Sports is or isn’t technically classified as gambling is an issue that the courts still haven’t completely decided on. As such, laws differ from region to region and continue to change.
Comparitech does not condone the illegal use of a VPN to login to gambling websites in countries or US states where the act is not permitted.