More daily fantasy sport bills introduced in U.S. states

News on 18 Mar 2017

The spate of daily fantasy sports legalisation proposals launched in the United States this year now includes Ohio and Pennsylvania following moves this week by lawmakers.

Last year the Ohio legislature saw two DFS bills at either end of the spectrum; one wanted to legalise the vertical whilst the other sought to declare such activity illegal gambling if the operator took a cut of entry fees. Both failed in committee.

H132 filed in the state House this week has the now familiar provisions that have appeared in similar legislation in other US states seeking to clarify and regulate DFS:

* The bill defines the genre as a game of skill and therefore legal in state law;
* It gives control and supervision to the Ohio Casino Control Commission;
* Once-off licensing fees of $30,000 are proposed;
* Consumer protection clauses are prominent and cover player funds segregation, evenly matched contests that exclude DFS employees, and precautions against under-age of problem gambling.

In Pennsylvania, and despite the inclusion of DFS in an omnibus legalisation bill currently in the Legislature (see previous reports), a new DFS-only bill – H 865 – has been introduced in the state House.

Its provisions are again similar to those that have proved successful in eight other states, and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is given the responsibility for oversight.

Other recent developments in the US daily fantasy sports sector have seen Mississippi making a temporary legalisation measure permanent; a bill in both Houses in Texas and in Iowa; a Kentucky bill that failed; and a measure in Montana calling for a study of DFS before it will be considered by state lawmakers.

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