Pennsylvania Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation Likely To See Action Next Week

Posted on June 7, 2016

[toc]The Pennsylvania legislature appears to be ready to start acting on regulation of daily fantasy sports, as a key lawmaker promised a vote on a bill next week.

What happened on Tuesday for PA and DFS

The Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee received a commissioned report on the DFS industry that was asked for by the legislature earlier this year. The goal of that report to examine DFS as a “gambling product.”

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board already released that report earlier, but it was formally given to the House committee in a hearing on Tuesday morning. The recommendation of that report was to tie the DFS industry to the land-based casino in regulating the industry.

The news on Tuesday, however, was that chairman John Payne indicated that a vote on DFS legislation could be held by his committee as soon as next week. That’s a fast turnaround for a state that had been taking it slow on DFS; a hearing had been held back in November.

What will be voted on for PA DFS?

The bill in question appears to be H 1197 from Rep. George Dunbar. That legislation was introduced way back in May of last year, but it didn’t see any action.

That bill will almost certainly be amended heavily in advance of next week’s planned committee vote, and it will likely take a lot of elements out of the PGCB report.

The DFS hearing comes as the state also gives serious thought to legalizing and regulating online poker.

Other states acting on DFS right now

Two other Mid-Atlantic states are taking a close look at DFS right now:

  • The biggest battleground right now is New York, a state where the largest operators, DraftKings and FanDuel, currently do no operate. Legislation has been making its way through the legislature over the past two weeks in the hopes of passing a bill before a June 16 adjournment deadline.
  • After months of inaction, New Jersey is now advancing legislation as well, as a bill made it past a Senate committee vote this week.
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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.

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