There are six states where regulatory bills have already been introduced and/or where action is most likely to move forward:
That’s in addition to Florida, where there is an extensive lobbying effort underway, in addition to a reported federal grand jury hearing. No legislation appears to be pending in the state.
But there are several states that have been a little more under the radar, and could be next in considering what to do with the industry.
A report this week turns Indiana into a potential hot spot, with a legislator talking about a possible regulatory bill.
That’s a change from about a month ago, when Rep. Alan Morrison wanted to reintroduce his DFS bill that would allow casinos to offer contests. At the time, he said he had no desire to regulate the larger DFS industry.
But the Goshen News reports that Morrison has a new approach:
Morrison, a Republican from Terre Haute who plays fantasy sports, said he’s drafting legislation to regulate sites including DraftKings and FanDuel, turning over control of their operation in Indiana to the state’s licensed casinos.
“We’ve got an existing gaming industry here that has to play by our rules,” he said. “For another entity to come in and play by a separate set of rules isn’t fair.”
According to that report, the approach is likely to be similar to one being considered in Pennsylvania, where DFS operators would have to partner with casinos.
There have been a couple of news items flow out of Georgia that indicate action could be on the way. Most recently, a committee in the legislature briefly contemplated the question of DFS, and this was said.
“This is a form of gambling,” said Keith Smith, CEO of Boyd Gaming Corp. “I am not opposed to daily fantasy sports, but I am opposed to unregulated forms of gambling.
It was also previously reported that the state was looking into the legality of DFS under state law.
The intersection of those two pieces of news makes it appear likely that some sort of action on DFS is likely.
A bill appears to be on the way in Minnesota, according to a press release from Rep. Joe Atkins.
The bill would have a licensing component; from the release:
2) LICENSING, SECURITY, AND PROTECTION OF PARTICIPANT FUNDS. Entities engaged in daily sports fantasy betting with more than $50,000 wagered per year by its participants shall be required to be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. To be licensed, the entity is subject to background checks, review of practices, and audits as established and carried out by the Department.
The bill has not yet been introduced, so the actual language is up in the air. But it appears Atkins likely has a draft started already.
The daily fantasy sports industry has its hands full with the states where there is imminent action or legislation already in the pipeline.
But the next front might be lobbying and seeking legal clarity in states where operators function in somewhat of a gray area.
While concentrating on the states that are “hottest” in terms of their interest in DFS is necessary now, being proactive in gray states might be a prudent tack.