Last updated May 12, 2016.
Daily fantasy sports is now an active topic for lawmakers, regulators, or law enforcement officials in almost two dozen states.
Below is a snapshot of the the status quo in the states with measurable potential for some type of action on DFS. For each state, we offer:
- An outline of where things stand now for DFS
- Links to key resources like bills or state code
- Links to recent news coverage containing material developments
This article is reviewed weekly and updated periodically. Follow @LSPreport on Twitter for more frequent updates.
Also of note on the state front:
- A look at state attorney general opinions here.
- Where can you play DFS, state by state?
- DFS legislative tracker here.
While the state had been a relatively quiet one for DFS for a long time, that changed quickly when Attorney General Luther Strange issued cease and desist letters to FanDuel and DraftKings; both sites pulled out of the state by a May 1 deadline.
A bill that made early progress in the state hit a wall, and was not passed before the legislature adjourned.
A legislative effort to legalize fantasy sports recently popped up in one of the states where DFS is considered illegal. That bill was defeated in a committee vote, however.
This was not the first time Arizona has been down this road, and conflict with tribal interests has derailed efforts in the past. That appears to be the case again this time.
California has an active bill dealing with DFS (AB 1437), and action on it developed quickly. It passed a pair of committee votes and the full Assembly (vote of 62-1) in less than a month. The bill continues to sit dormant in the Senate three months after the House action.
Tribal interests have emerged as a legitimate foil to the legislative effort. Chatter is saying that the bill as written could be overhauled in a way that is not as friendly to the industry. What is at question is if the tribes who have raised concerns with DFS legislation as constructed — and with its current legality — have the will and the pull to derail the bill.
A lawmaker has requested that Attorney General Kamala Harris explore the legality of DFS, and LSR understands that some sort of review is underway, although Harris’ office has had little comment on the matter.
- AB 1437: Internet Fantasy Sports Game Protection Act
- Letter from San Manuel Band of Mission Indians regarding daily fantasy sports bill to Assemblymember Adam Gray
- Letter from Assemblymember Marc Levine to Attorney General Kamala Harris asking her to look into the legality of DFS
- Penal code §337a, a law some believe can be applied to DFS.
- Daily fantasy sports betting future unclear in California (SFGate, April 6)
- The Attorney General Offices That Have Been Oddly Quiet On Daily Fantasy Sports (LSR, March 17)
- As California considers licensing fantasy sports websites, experts warn of a major problem: gambling addiction (L.A. Times, Feb. 20)
- How Daily Fantasy Sports Could Intersect With The Brewing Battle Over Scalia’s Supreme Court Seat (LSR, Feb. 15)
- California lawmakers should not buy in to fantasy-sports claims (SF Chronicle, Feb. 13)
- Tribal Opposition To Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Comes Into Focus With New Letter (LSR, Feb. 12)
- Powerful casino tribes raise concerns with California fantasy sports bill (Sac Bee, Feb. 10)
- California Tribes Seeking Opportunity, Answers On Daily Fantasy Sports (LSR, Feb. 10)
- Calif. Makes Move to Regulate Fantasy Sports (Indian Republic, Feb. 6)
- 62-1: California Assembly Overwhelmingly Passes Daily Fantasy Sports Bill (LSR, Jan. 27)
- Group Of California Tribes Not Happy That DFS Bill Leap-Frogged Online Poker (Online Poker Report, Jan. 11)
- Daily Fantasy Sports Regulation Bill Passes California Assembly Committee Vote (LSR, Dec. 6)
- California Daily Fantasy Sports Hearing Frames Legislative Debate Moving Forward (LSR, Dec. 16)
- Could California’s Attorney General Be Next To Weigh In On Daily Fantasy Sports? (LSR, Nov. 12)
- California Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Sponsor Wants ‘Thoughtful’ Approach (LSR, Oct. 26)
- Daily Fantasy Sports Would Be Subject To Licensing, Regulation Under New California Bill (LSR, Sept. 11)
An effort to regulate the fantasy sports industry cropped up late in March, and it quickly gained momentum. The legislature passed a bill, which now sits on the governor’s desk.
A bill to give the authority to regulate the DFS industry to the Commissioner of Consumer Protection was introduced in February. The effort got a new wrinkle when it was added to a tax package for the state budget; the proposal would tax entry fees — not revenue.
The effort died after Attorney General George Jepsen said that the bill would jeopordize state revenue coming from tribal gaming. The legislature is now adjourned.
State Finance Secretary Thomas Cook said that he will have a recommendation for the legislature on how to proceed with DFS, but that hasn’t been made public if it happened. Delaware gaming regulators also have said they’re exploring the legality of DFS.
A push to regulate the DFS industry quickly gained traction, as bills passed a trio of votes in January. But issues with the Seminole compact have slowed progress for DFS, and efforts to attach regulatory language to other bills has failed. With the legislature going out of session, it looks like regulation will have to wait, unless it is taken up in a special session.
Lurking in the background of that political battle is the question of DFS’ legality in Florida, and the ongoing probe by the US Attorney’s office in Tampa. Multiple operators have already exited Florida, likely in response to those forces. The state’s population and inherent legal ambiguity have made it a point of focus for the FSTA, FanDuel, and DraftKings.
- Here’s Where The Federal Investigations Into Daily Fantasy Sports Might Be Focused (LSR, March 18)
- The Attorney General Offices That Have Been Oddly Quiet On Daily Fantasy Sports (LSR, March 17)
- Failure of Seminole gambling deal has consequences (Sun Sentinel, March 10)
- NO CONTEST: PUSH TO LEGALIZE FANTASY SPORTS IN FLORIDA FAILS (Florida Politics, March 5)
- Florida Fantasy Sports Bill Faces Uphill Battle Before Deadline (LSR, March 3)
- Gambling expansion all but dead in Florida Legislature as Senate postpones action (Tampa Bay Times, March 1)
- FANTASY SPORTS LANGUAGE IN GAMBLING BILL BECAUSE OF RICK SCOTT, LAWMAKER SAYS (Florida Politics, Feb. 29)
- Florida Senate committee passes gaming bill, but House expresses caution (Miami Herald, Feb. 17)
- Super Wednesday For Daily Fantasy Sports: Four Bills In One Day, Including Key Vote In Florida (LSR, Jan. 27)
- Fantasy sports industry goes on five-month, $220,000 spending spree to influence state legislators (Tampa Bay Times, Jan. 19)
- Florida Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Passes First Committee Vote (LSR, Jan. 12)
- Five questions with Senate President-to-be Joe Negron (SaintPetersBlog, Jan. 8)
- Amid regulatory shadow, FanDuel doubles Orlando workforce (Orlando Sentinel, Jan. 4)
- Editorial: Hold the line against sports gambling (Tampa Bay Times, Dec. 28)
- Florida bets on fantasy sports debate (Tallahassee Democrat, Dec. 11)
- Editorial: Should Florida Legislature legitimize daily fantasy sports? (TBO, Dec. 4)
- Editorial: Fantasy sports games flout Florida law (Tampa Bay Times, Nov. 12)
- Florida Set To Introduce Daily Fantasy Sports Bill (LSR, Nov. 10)
- Fantasy sports face tough odds as Tampa investigation puts future in doubt (TBO.com, Nov. 8)
- Fantasy sports: playing for the future (Tallahassee Democrat, Oct. 30)
- Florida Senate president considers ban on fantasy sports betting (Fox 13, Oct. 22)
- Senate President Targets Fantasy Sports (WLRN, Oct. 21)
- Federal Investigation Could Be ‘Death Sentence’ For DFS Industry, Attorney Says (LSR, Oct. 15)
- Federal Grand Jury Reportedly Considering Charges Against Daily Fantasy Sports Operators, FSTA Subpoenaed (LSR, Oct. 10)
The path for DFS in Georgia got turned on its head in a single day. A letter from the state attorney general’s office surfaced in which it offered the opinion that DFS constituted illegal gambling in the state. On the same day — in what appears to be not a coincidence — the Senate failed to take action on a DFS bill, effectively killing the effort for this year.
The state lottery has been the main opponent of DFS in the state, so far, as it sent a letter to DraftKings and FanDuel asking how they believed their contests were legal in the state. It also asked for the aforementioned AG opinion.
Georgia could take closer look at fantasy sports websites (The Telegraph, March 8)
Whether Georgia takes action against fantasy sports remains uncertain (AJC, March 3)
- Georgia AG Latest To Say Daily Fantasy Sports Are Illegal Gambling; DFS Bill Scuttled (LSR, Feb. 29)
- Proposed legislation looks to regulate fantasy sports online (WXIA, Feb. 17)
- Georgia lawmaker proposes to regulate daily fantasy sports (AJC, Feb. 9)
- Georgia mulling next move against fantasy sports sites (Valdosta Times, Dec. 9)
- Fantasy sports site DraftKings pens letter to the Ga. lottery (NBC 11, Dec. 4)
- Georgia considering stance on daily fantasy sports websites (WSB, Nov. 16)
- Georgia lawmakers told to regulate daily fantasy sports (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nov. 3)
- Georgia lottery officials target fantasy sports betting websites (WSBTV, Oct. 22)
- Georgia joins states questioning legality of fantasy sports companies FanDuel, DraftKings (AP, Oct. 19)
Things escalated quickly in Hawaii, a state in which there is no legal gambling. The attorney general offered an opinion that DFS runs afoul of state gaming laws, at the behest of a lawmaker. Four different bills popped up on the same day, although it appears action on those is dead for 2016.
Most DFS operators — including DraftKings and FanDuel — left the state when a prosecutor issued cease-and-desist orders.
Things shifted suddenly in Illinois, as Attorney General Lisa Madigan declared DFS illegal gambling under state law. DraftKings and FanDuel immediately sued the AG on Christmas Eve to have the courts find her opinion in error.
The bill proposed by Rep. Mike Zalewski has been frequently cited by executives at FanDuel and DraftKings as a workable model for regulation. Illinois’ macro political dynamic could derail the bill — that includes Madigan’s father, who is the House speaker.
Zalewski reworked his original bill in an attempt to rally support for legislation, which has made it through a House committee vote. However, with a May 31 legislative deadline looming, the bill faces an uncertain future.
- Crime Commission Expresses Concerns Over Fantasy Sports Betting Bill (CBS Chicago, May 4)
- Illinois Harness Horsemen Voice Concern Over Proposed Fantasy Sports Legislation (Paulick Report, May 2)
- Illinois lawmakers pushing bill to regulate daily fantasy sports (Northwest Herald, May 1)
- Lawmakers looking to tax, regulate fantasy sports in Illinois (Chicago Tribune, April 20)
- Fantasy Sports operators not to be trusted (Chicago Sun-Times, April 26)
- Illinois considers legalizing daily fantasy sports betting (AP, April 6)
- DRURY: ARE DAILY FANTASY SPORTS THE NEW TOBACCO? (ReBoot Illinois, Feb. 29)
- Daily Fantasy Sports Sites Support Illinois Regulation Plan (Associated Press, Feb. 25)
- Ex-NIU Running Back Sues FanDuel, DraftKings For Using His Name (AP, Jan. 28)
- State Representative Asking For Committee To Investigate Online Fantasy Sports Betting (My Stateline, Jan. 7)
- Fantasy sports needs closer look before legalization hearings, lawmaker says (Crain’s Chicago Business, Jan. 4)
- Everything You Need To Know About The Illinois Daily Fantasy Sports Legal Battle (LSR, Jan. 4)
- No Rest During Holidays, New Year For Daily Fantasy Sports Issues In Illinois, New York, California (LSR, Jan. 2)
- DraftKings And FanDuel Fight For Survival In Illinois (Forbes, Dec. 25)
- Illinois Attorney General Says DFS Is Gambling; Expects DraftKings, FanDuel To Leave State (LSR, Dec. 24)
- Is daily fantasy sports legal in Illinois? We’ll know soon (Crain’s Chicago Business, Dec. 9)
- Will AG Madigan crack down on fantasy sports sites soon? Don’t bet on it (Crain’s Chicago Business, Nov. 25)
- Editorial: They call it fantasy sports. It’s real gambling (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 25)
- FanDuel CEO asks for regulation for fantasy sports, Illinois-style (Chicago Tribune, Oct. 30)
- Everything You Need To Know About Illinois’ ‘Fantasy Contests Act’ (LSR, Oct. 27)
- Illinois may be poised to regulate online fantasy sports games (Quad City Times, Oct. 20)
Indiana became the second state to officially regulate DFS in March, when Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law.
That progress comes after a 2015 bill did not gain any traction that would have allowed the state’s racinos to offer fantasy contests.
Interestingly, the legislation was amended to excluded contests based on college games. That came at the behest of the NCAA, which is headquartered in Indianapolis.
- Indiana Becomes Second State To Pass Daily Fantasy Sports Regulation (LSR, March 24)
- Indiana Becomes Second State To Send Daily Fantasy Sports Regulation To Governor (LSR, March 4)
- Evolution Of Indiana’s Fantasy Sports Bill: Good And Bad For The Industry (LSR, Feb. 29)
- Indiana lawmakers discuss minimum age of 21 to play daily fantasy sports (Indy Star, Feb. 17)
- Fantasy Sports Bill Passes Senate, But Is Still Far From The End Zone (WBAA, Feb. 5)
- College games taken out of bill authorizing daily fantasy sports wagering (Indy Star, Jan. 27)
- Indiana Rep On Daily Fantasy Sports Bill: “We Didn’t Want To Set Up Barriers To Entry” (LSR, Jan. 13)
- Indiana, Vermont Introduce New Bills To Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports (LSR, Jan. 7)
- Indiana looks to regulate daily fantasy sports sites (South Bend Tribune, Dec. 18)
- Fantasy Football to Get Legal Scrutiny in Indiana (WIBC, Nov. 30)
- State Lawmakers Want To Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports Sites (Indiana Public Media, Nov. 13)
- STATE: Fantasy sports sites under scrutiny (Goshen News, Nov. 4)
- Indiana Lawmaker Eyes Revival Of Daily Fantasy Sports Bill (LSR, Sept. 25)
After a bill that would have legalized DFS made headway in 2015, a new effort was launched in a state where DFS is not legal, currently. After some initial progress, the effort in Iowa got sidelined again.
In January, Maryland’s attorney general’s office issued an opinion telling the legislature to revisit the issue of fantasy sports, since it was unclear if a 2012 law should have gone to a referendum.
That opinion created a legislative effort that would regulate the industry — including the need for a referendum for the bill to become law — in February. Two bills passed the Senate — one that would create a referendum on DFS regulation, one that would say DFS is illegal if the referendum doesn’t pass. The House took no action on the legislation before adjourning, however.
Maryland quickly turned into a hot spot after some initial chatter in the fall. The Washington Post reported that State Comptroller Peter Franchot, Attorney General Brian Frosh and staff for Gov. Larry Hogan met in December to talk about DFS. Frosh, interestingly, voted against a bill that intended to legalize fantasy sports in 2012.
- Maryland Fails To Pass Fantasy Sports Bill, And Why That Could Mean Trouble (LSR, April 12)
- Stakes Are High For Daily Fantasy Sports Industry In Maryland (LSR, April 5)
- Maryland Could Be 1st to Hold Referendum on Fantasy Sports (AP, March 23)
- Odds favor summer study on Md. fantasy sports legislation (The Daily Record, Feb. 29)
- Miller clarifies position on fantasy sports gaming (The Daily Record, Feb. 24)
- Maryland Fantasy Sports Law, Take Two: New Legislation Introduced After AG Opinion (LSR, Feb. 12)
- Miller: ‘somebody needs to act’ on fantasy sports betting (Baltimore Sun, Jan. 18)
- Maryland AG: Legislature ‘Should Clarify Whether Daily Fantasy Sports Are Authorized’ (LSR, Jan. 15)
- Seeking to keep games going, fantasy sites enlist state lobbyists (Baltimore Sun, Jan. 4)
- Fantasy-sports operations in Maryland under scrutiny by state officials (Washington Post, Dec. 17)
- Marylanders mobilized to oppose ban on fantasy sports sites (Daily Record, Dec. 17)
- Maryland warily eyes fantasy sports boom (Baltimore Sun, Nov. 22)
- Comptroller to examine daily fantasy sports websites (WBAL, Nov. 13)
- Md. state officials call for scrutiny of fantasy sports league sites (The Daily Record, Nov. 11)
- Maryland Regulator Says Fantasy Sports May Be Revisited (Gambling Compliance, Oct. 23)
- Md. gaming director calls fantasy sports betting ‘a powder keg’ (The Daily Record, Oct. 7)
Massachusetts is in many ways the epicenter of the DFS question, thanks in part to the fact that DraftKings is headquartered in Boston. That was confirmed when attorney general Maura Healey laid out regulations that will govern the DFS industry from a consumer protection standpoint, which she finalized in March.
In January, the state Gaming Commission produced a “white paper” regarding the issues surrounding regulation of daily fantasy sports, and the AG’s office held a public hearing about her proposed regulations.
It seems unlikely that Healey’s regulations will entirely stop a legislative effort, as key lawmakers have expressed interest in licensing and taxing DFS operators, things that Healey’s regulations do not do.
Massachusetts is also the scene of a court case in which DraftKings is suing payment processors to continue doing business with them while they accept customers in New York. The outcome of that hearing is apparently tied to the verdict in New York.
- Massachusetts AG Healey Announces Final Daily Fantasy Sports Regulations (LSR, March 25)
- Here’s Where The Federal Investigations Into Daily Fantasy Sports Might Be Focused (LSR, March 18)
- Fantasy sports industry feels ‘momentum’ despite shutdown orders (Lowell Sun, March 7)
- Daily fantasy sports suits consolidated for Mass. federal court (Boston Herald, Feb. 5)
- Commission to Look at Daily Fantasy Sports (Beacon Hill Times, Feb. 5)
- Daily Fantasy Sports Industry On Proposed Massachusetts Regulations: Change Is Needed (LSR, Jan. 25)
- Massachusetts Gaming Commission Calls For Legislative Solution To DFS As AG Considers Regulations (LSR, Jan. 12)
- State panel to study fantasy sports (Boston Globe, Jan. 7)
- At hearing, gaming commission grapples with daily fantasy sports (Boston Globe, Dec. 10)
- Next Big Daily Fantasy Sports Hearing Takes Place In Massachusetts Court On Thursday (Forbes, Dec. 1)
- Massachusetts AG Proposes Sweeping Daily Fantasy Sports Regulations That Will Likely Shift Industry (LSR, Nov. 19)
- Baker sees fantasy sports as game of skill, legal in Mass. (Boston Globe, Nov. 12)
- Maura Healey: Yes, DraftKings and FanDuel Are Gambling (Boston Magazine, Nov. 12)
- Massachusetts Gaming Commission On Daily Fantasy Sports: ‘Legal Status Of DFS Is In Flux’ (LSR, Oct. 29)
- Massachusetts Lottery Looks To Daily Fantasy Sports: Questions And Answers (LSR, Nov. 3)
- Maura Healey won’t act to shut down fantasy sites like DraftKings and FanDuel (Boston.com, Oct. 21)
- AG on fantasy sports: Focus on protecting consumers (WCVB, Oct. 16)
- Senate President Stan Rosenberg says fantasy sports should be taxed and regulated (MassLive, Oct. 13)
- DeLeo: Mass. should get ‘fair share’ from fantasy sport sites (Lowell Sun, Oct. 11)
Another push-pull state, with a bill to exempt DFS from the state’s gambling laws sitting alongside an opinion from Michigan’s top gaming regulator that the games are illegal under current law.
There’s been little movement on the question since the controversy surrounding the inadvertent data leak at DraftKings. The bill’s outlook could also be complicated by the presence of the commercial casino lobby.
It appears a bill that would regulate online gambling in the state has more traction than DFS regulation.
- SB 459, fantasy sports legalization bill
State Rep. Joe Atkins announced plans for a DFS bill that would lightly regulate the activity in late October, and bills became reality in January. Action on the bills started picking up in the spring, one of which passed the House.
However, momentum appears to have stalled in the Senate, and the bill faces an uncertain future.
- Minnesota senators take a time out on fantasy sports legislation (InForum, May 12)
- Dayton Is “Favorable” Toward Fantasy Sports Bill (KDAL, April 21)
- Daily fantasy sports gets Minnesota House OK – and regulations (Pioneer Press, April 11)
- Bill allowing fantasy sports advances in Minnesota House (Duluth News Tribune, March 29)
- Are fantasy sports games or gambling? Minnesota bill seeks clarity (AP, March 22)
- 3 things to watch this week at the Minnesota Legislature (MPR, April 11)
- Fantasy sports gambling becomes major issue (Minnesota Daily, Feb. 11)
- Daily fantasy sports: Here to stay in Minnesota? (Star Tribune, Jan. 20)
- Rep. Joe Atkins Introducing Legislation in Minnesota (FanDuel newsroom)
- FanDuel, DraftKings safe in Minnesota, for now (Star Tribune, Nov. 12)
- Will MN follow NY in banning daily fantasy sports? (KARE, Nov. 11)
- Minnesota legislator wants fantasy sports sites regulated (Duluth News Tribune, Oct. 26)
Things ramped up over the winter in short order. First, Mississippi’s attorney general issued an opinion that DFS is illegal gambling in the state. Then, a legalization bill quickly popped up, and DraftKings and FanDuel left the state while the bill is being considered.
In the wake of all that, Mississippi’s legislature passed a bill formally legalizing DFS; it now sits on the governor’s desk. The deadline for action is May 13.
With little fanfare and no advance warning, a DFS regulatory bill popped up to end 2015. Different versions of legislation have passed the House and Senate; concurrence by the former would result in the bill heading to the governor.
Gov. Jay Nixon is one of the few governors weighing in, but he has called DFS gambling on more than one occasion. He has also stated he wants to see the industry be taxed, which it would be at a rate of 11.5% in the current bill.
- Missouri Senate Passes Bill to Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports (Associated Press, May 10)
- Missouri lawmakers weigh daily fantasy sports rules, taxes (AP, April 9)
- Schaefer pitches bill to regulate legal fantasy sports games (Fulton Sun, March 4)
- Missouri bills on daily fantasy sports don’t go as far as Nixon wants (MissouriNet, Feb. 11)
- Missouri lawmaker: daily fantasy sports is a game of skill, not gambling (MissouriNet, Feb. 6)
- Our Voice: Regulate fantasy sports? (Springfield News-Leader, Jan. 26)
- Missouri Becomes Latest State To Introduce Fantasy Sports Bill (LSR, Dec. 30)
- Missouri may see battle over fantasy sports games (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dec. 26)
After a public hearing was held to consider a DFS regulatory effort, the bill is dead for now, it appears.
Nevada had largely been off the radar since the AG’s office and the state gaming commission said DFS was gambling under state law — and would require a gaming license — prompting all operators to leave the state.
Then, in January, Gov. Brian Sandoval said he wanted the state’s Gaming Policy Committee to look at possible regulation of the industry.Not much progress was made toward a solution during a meeting in March, but it set the stage for future talks.
A regulatory bill that would treat DFS much like online poker and gambling in the state was formally introduced in March, and it passed a committee hearing 5-0. DraftKings and FanDuel currently oppose the bill, as it calls DFS “gambling.”
The state’s ongoing court battle over sports betting takes priority over anything having to do with DFS, meaning a DFS bill could easily be delayed for months while that court battle resolves.
- Regulating fantasy sports could impact livelihood of N.J. players (NJ.com, April 9)
- Why The Gambling Vs. Game Of Skill Debate In Fantasy Sports Won’t Go Away (LSR, March 15)
- Daily fantasy sports companies oppose New Jersey regulations (AP, March 14)
- New effort launched to regulate and tax daily fantasy sports in N.J. (NJ.com, March 7)
- Christie slams N.Y. AG for ‘crazy’ attack on fantasy sports companies (NJ.com, Nov. 13)
- Why N.J. is unlikely to follow N.Y.’s lead on DraftKings, FanDuel (NJ.com, Nov. 12)
- New Jersey Daily Fantasy Sports Hearing Recap: Contentious, But No Bill Coming Soon (LSR, Nov. 9)
- Action on daily fantasy sports in N.J. not likely until after next hearing in sports betting case (NorthJersey.com, Nov. 9)
- N.J. fantasy sports bill would allow games, with a catch (NorthJersey.com, Nov. 6)
- New Jersey Bill Would Treat Daily Fantasy Sports Pretty Much Like Regulated Online Gambling, Except For Actually Calling It Gambling (LSR, Nov. 2)
Bills were introduced in the winter, but made no progress and are dead for the time being.
The ball is in the state legislature’s court, after DraftKings and FanDuel reached settlements with the New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. As part of that deal, DraftKings and FanDuel left the state until at least September, when an appeals case will be heard. The two DFS operators are hoping a legislative answer can be found in the meantime.
Several bills are in the pipeline, but only one appears to be worth watching. That’s the bill offered in February from Sen. John Bonacic, who chairs the gaming committee. Rep. Gary Pretlow recently said his bill will be offered in April, and he offered optimism for the legislation passing. The bill has still not been introduced, with a June 16 legislative adjournment deadline looming.
How did we get here? Schneiderman issued cease and desist orders to DraftKings and FanDuel in November. An emergency hearing was held to consider injunctions from the AG against FanDuel and DraftKings the same month. A Supreme Court judge found on the side of the NY AG on Dec. 11, but an appeals court put a stay on the preliminary injunction, reinstating the status quo, before DK and FD exited the state in March.
A legislative committee has indicated it will take up the issue of DFS and a issue a report before the end of 2015. That report — which glossed over DFS issues with a promise of a closer look in 2016 — will obviously shape what happens moving forward in Ohio.
After a regulatory effort has popped up early in 2016, the brakes went on when a coalition of tribes opposed legislation. That appears to mean that regulation is off the table in the short term.
While Pennsylvania looked like it would act quickly on DFS in the fall of 2015, that’s not the case anymore. The state passed legislation that authorized a study by the gaming control board. The results will be known this spring, and expect legislation to surface after that report is issued.
The attorney general’s office is in the mix, saying DFS is “under review.”
- HB 1197 (bill possibly to be amended to cover DFS regulation)
- HB 649 (bill possibly to be amended to cover DFS regulation)
- HR 663 (bill to study DFS)
- How Pennsylvania Might Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports: A Tale Of Two Approaches (PA Online Casinos, April 11)
- Pa. could soon take up legislation on fantasy sports (Central Penn Business Journal, March 18)
- Pennsylvania Passes Law To Study Fantasy Sports As ‘Gambling Product’ (LSR, Feb. 27)
- Daily Fantasy Sports Seems Destined For Approach Similar To Online Gambling, Poker In Pennsylvania (US Poker, Dec. 18)
- Pennsylvania Rep. John Payne: Bill Legalizing Online Gambling Is Alive And Well (Online Poker Report, Dec. 16)
- State figuring out how to regulate daily fantasy sports betting (The Sharon Herald, Nov. 22)
- Pennsylvania looks to regulate, not ban, daily fantasy sports leagues (Philly.com, Nov. 13)
- Pennsylvania Isn’t Rushing Daily Fantasy Sports Bill After Gaming Committee Hearing (LSR Nov. 10)
- Pa. lawmakers discuss limiting fantasy sports legalization (Fox 43, Oct. 19)
- Pennsylvania considers limiting fantasy sports gambling (ABC 27, Oct. 16)
In February, Rhode Island’s attorney general offered an opinion that daily fantasy sports is legal in the state while calling on the legislature to regulate the industry.
The state attorney general recently opined that daily fantasy sports is not legal in South Dakota, but indicated that he is waiting for guidance from the state’s Gaming Commission. Later, he said he would not pursue indictments, but would look at “civil remedies.”
Regulators considered daily fantasy sports in a meeting in November, but said it lacked the authority to regulate the industry. That seemingly leaves the ball in the court of the state AG and the legislature.
A bill that would create a task force for fantasy sports and promulgate regulations cropped up in the legislature in January; and it passed the legislature in April. It awaits the signature of the governor.
That came before an attorney general opinion that DFS is illegal gambling under state law.
The state’s attorney general declared that DFS would like be considered to be gambling if the issue came up in the courts. FanDuel reached a settlement to leave Texas in May with AG Ken Paxton, while DraftKings is fighting in court.
A legislative effort will have to wait, as the legislature will not be in session until 2017. A bill earlier in the year sought to regulate the industry, but it was never seriously considered.
Interestingly, the Texas Lottery was pursuing DFS one point, according to a report in January.
- FanDuel Leaving Texas In May; DraftKings To Fight AG Paxton In Court (LSR, March 4)
- Fantasy sports still rocking along so far after AG’s opinion (San Antonio Express-News, Feb. 3)
- Texas Attorney General Concludes Daily Fantasy Sports Is Gambling: Answers And Analysis (LSR, Jan. 19)
- Texas Lottery was in hot pursuit of DraftKings daily fantasy game, records show (Dallas Morning News, Jan. 15)
- On fantasy sports, a familiar argument aimed at Paxton (Houston Chronicle, Jan. 8)
- Paxton deluged by fantasy sports supporters (Houston Chronicle, Jan. 2)
- FanDuel, DraftKings Push Paxton Petition (Texas Tribune, Dec. 21)
- Attorney general asked whether daily fantasy sports games are legal in Texas (MySA, Nov. 13)
An official in the attorney general’s office has said publicly that DFS amounts to illegal gambling in the state. Just before that, a regulatory bill was introduced. That bill passed the Senate but was not passed before the legislature adjourned.
Virginia officially because the first state to regulate fantasy sports, when Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a bill in March.
How many sites actually sign up for the regulatory scheme is an open question, however. The $50,000 registration fee might keep most operators other than DraftKings and FanDuel out of the market. And paid-entry seasonlong operators cried out against the bill before it became law.
Washington state — where DFS is currently considered to be illegal — had multiple legislative initiatives in the works. Those are all dead for the time being because they didn’t make progress during a short legislative session.
Momentum built quickly for a bill that legalizes fantasy sports, but the legislature. Introduced in February, a bill has already passed the full Senate; however, the legislature adjourned without taking it up in the House.
A bill was introduced and quickly discussed in a public hearing in January. The state Assembly has already adjourned for the session, meaning not much can happen in the short term.
Dustin Gouker contributes to and updates this article.