Arkansas is first state to legalize DFS this year
WSOP
Legal Sports Report

Arkansas Governor Signs Fantasy Sports Bill; Becomes 11th State To Legalize FanDuel, DraftKings

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson enacted a law regulating and legalizing paid-entry fantasy sports this week. The move gives legal clarity in the state to daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel.

Arkansas joins the party on DFS

Hutchinson signed the bill — H 2250 — on Monday. It made Arkansas the first state to take that step in 2017, and the ninth since the start of 2016.

It became the 11th state to legalize paid-entry fantasy sports:

  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Colorado
  • Missouri
  • Indiana
  • Virginia
  • Kansas
  • Maryland

Of those states, the legality of the laws in Maryland (AG opinion) and New York (active lawsuit) are at least somewhat in doubt.

The move to legalize was expected after the action in the statehouse. The Arkansas Senate approved the bill by a vote of 25-5. The House approved the Senate version of the bill 85-0, after earlier passing the legislation 69-3.

The bill would tax DFS revenue of operators at a rate of eight percent, for users in the state. The bill contains no real regulation of the industry or consumer protections like laws enacted in many other states.

In other state DFS action

In other news about fantasy sports legislation, Texas advanced a bill out of a legislative committee.

The Texas House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures passed House Bill 1457 Tuesday on a 6-1 vote to clarify and affirm the legality of fantasy sports in the state.

The legality of Texas daily fantasy sports has been in question for more than a year, after a negative opinion from the state’s attorney general.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.