Daily fantasy sports legalisation bill filed in Rhode Island assembly

News on 3 Mar 2017

A daily fantasy sports legalisation bill – H5793 – was filed March 1 in the Rhode Island state Assembly by Representatives Jared Nunes and Alex Marszalkowski, and calls for the state Division of Racing and Athletics to be authorised by lawmakers to “implement online games of skill, including, but not limited to, fantasy sports, so-called, including, but not limited to, fantasy football and baseball, and other games of skill, subject to the provisions of, and preempted and superseded by, any applicable federal law.”

The bill has been placed with the House Finance Committee and includes provisions related to the sale of pre-paid cards for fantasy sports to adults by lottery sales agents through stores and secure online websites.

“Said cards may be recharged and resold by any such agent; provided, said prepaid cards shall not be deemed to be gambling but are deemed games of skill,” the proposal notes.

Activity will be confined to within state borders through the use of geo-compliance technology.

The bill directs that the Division of Racing and Athletics develop a request for proposals and use competitive sealed bidding procedures to solicit competitive bids from private vendors to develop any online platform, and such platform shall have maximum flexibility to allow for changes in technology and changes in consumer behaviour.

Responsible gaming, consumer protection and anti-crime policies are emphasised for operators and vendors alike; these must be taken into account by the Division, which will be responsible for oversight and the formation of rules and regulations regarding licensing, fees and operational activity.

Operators will be required to provide a free-play website as well as a commercial site, and enforcement measures are to be developed to guard against unlicensed activity.

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