It’s been a busy week for fantasy sports in America, with several states starting to consider the legality of the activity. Some states are thinking about regulation, while others still believe the restrictive, prohibitive path is best for them. Here are some updates from around the nation:
Florida moves to legalize fantasy sports
The Florida Legislature put its stamp on a plan to legalize daily fantasy sports games Wednesday as two key committees approved a plan to impose regulations on the sport that mirrors the way the state regulates arcade games.
But as lawmakers attempted to clarify one gaming issue, the Scott administration sent shock waves through the poker industry by reversing course on five popular card games. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation sent seven race tracks letters Tuesday declaring games such as three-card poker and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em illegal, even though the agency had approved the games last year. More at Miami Herald.
Hawaii could legalise DFS
Hawaii is to consider restructuring its strict gambling ban after several bills were introduced in an effort to legalise daily fantasy sports (DFS) and lottery games in the US state.
Although Hawaii is one of two states, along with Utah, that does not currently offer any form of legalised gambling, state legislators have put forward a bill in both the House and Senate that would legalise online DFS contests.
According to the Associated Press news agency, the bill would require DFS firms that offer cash prizes to register with the state and be subject to an independent audit on a yearly basis. More at iGaming Business.
Mississippi Says Daily Fantasy Sports Are Illegal
The office of Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood joined a growing chorus of state AGs opining that daily fantasy sports is illegal under state law. The news also came just minutes before the New York Times reported that payment processor Vantiv would no longer work with DFS operators DraftKings and FanDuel.
The tally of negative attorney opinions on the legality of DFS is likely what has made Vantiv skittish regarding the industry. The request for an opinion on DFS originated with Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. More at Legal Sports Report.
Indiana considers DFS regulation
Indiana has joined the expanding list of US states considering regulating daily fantasy sports (DFS) games, with a number of bills having been put forward. One bill is currently moving through the state’s Senate, while another has been introduced in the House, with both having been designed to regulate DFS.
The bills would distinguish DFS betting from gambling, which is more regulated and taxed in the state. Alan Morrison, the author of the House bill, said that the introduction of the bills is necessary, due to the ongoing uncertainty over DFS in Indiana. More at iGaming Business.
Rhode Island AG: Daily fantasy sports legal
Daily fantasy sports mix chance and skill and are legal under state law, the state’s attorney general (Peter Kilmartin) said Thursday… Not long after Kilmartin released his findings, a lawmaker in the heavily Democratic General Assembly introduced legislation to license daily fantasy sports websites. More at WPRO.
Payment Processor to Stop Working With Daily Fantasy Sports Clients
Vantiv Entertainment Solutions, which processes a significant number of transactions for FanDuel and DraftKings, said it would no longer do so after the end of this month. The company cited legal issues. More at the New York Times.