Illinois move against daily fantasy sports could run out of time

News on 8 Dec 2016

The legislative season in Illinois may be drawing to a close, but that hasn’t stopped a new bid to ban daily fantasy sports from being assigned to the House Executive Committee; whether there is sufficient time to pass the bill is a matter for speculation.

Media reports Wednesday on the new bill contain scant detail, but apparently the measure seeks to criminalise DFS and is being opposed vigorously by DFS market leaders DraftKings and FanDuel.

The bill proposes an amendment to the state penal code specifically making it an offence under the gambling provisions to “establish, maintain, operate or offer” an Internet website or smartphone application that permits participation in a fantasy sports contest.

Interestingly, season-long fantasy sports are given a carve-out in the proposal.

Various penalties are proposed, starting at serious misdemeanour and rising on subsequent contraventions to lower felony levels with maximum penalties of $25,000, and provision for imprisonment for up to three years.

Our readers will recall that the Illinois Attorney General has already issued an opinion declaring that DFS constitutes illegal gambling under state law.

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