The daily fantasy sports industry notched some wins but failed to capture a majority of states after an all-out push this year to preserve its legality amid concerns the online games amount to illegal sports betting operations. Six states – Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana and Virginia – enacted laws legalizing and regulating games offered by Boston’s DraftKings, New York’s FanDuel and dozens of other smaller operators. They join Kansas, which passed a law legalizing the games last year.
But 21 other legislatures, including Arizona, Florida, Maryland and Washington, declined to take action this year before adjourning. And six more are still in session and could enact regulations, including key, high population states like California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
In New York, a bill awaits the governor’s signature and in Massachusetts, the state attorney general issued consumer protection rules earlier this year but other fantasy sports-related bills are also before lawmakers. Many bills introduced this year would cover not just controversial daily fantasy sports games, but traditional, season long fantasy sports competitions played by millions.
Some, like a proposal that died in Hawaii, would have banned fantasy games outright. Others, like proposals in Maryland, would have called for a voter referendum. Most bills, however, treat the games as distinct from legalized gambling and impose a range of requirements like licensing and registration fees, taxes on revenues, independent audits, minimum age requirements and state oversight.
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