Pennsylvania Officially Green Lights Daily Fantasy Sports Regulation, Taxation

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DFS PA green light

A major piece of last year’s landmark Pennsylvania legislation affecting daily fantasy sports became active recently.

Oversight of DFS contests by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board took effect, beginning taxation and regulation of daily fantasy. FanDuel and DraftKings led operators signing up to pay the $50,000 fee for five years of licensure. They also would be taxed at 15 percent of gross revenue.

“Pennsylvanians who already participate in Fantasy Sports Contests with any of these firms will see no difference in game play nor need to re-register,” said Kevin O’Toole, executive director of the PGCB.

Operators had served the state and continued to do so before and after the 2017 law was enacted.

DFS just a part of a major change in Pennsylvania law

These provisions came online via a 2017 law that made Pennsylvania the 17th state to legalize DFS at the time. It includes consumer protections for problem gambling and a provision requiring sites to segregate player funds and operational funds. The sweeping law also covered PA online gambling, as well as online lottery and PA mini casinos.

“This roll-out also marks the beginning for Pennsylvania to create new revenue through the taxation of entry fees from players registered in Pennsylvania to participate in fantasy sports contests,” O’Toole said.

Who’s in PA?

In addition to DraftKings (operating as Crown PA DFS in the state for legal/regulatory purposes) and FanDuel, six other operators applied to run DFS contests in Pennsylvania:

Yahoo DFS was not among the operators listed. FantasyDraft was not listed, but told Legal Sports Report it had applied in PA. Fantasy kiosk operator EagleStrike, which had operated in PA, was not on the initial list, either.

FastPick only operated in New Jersey previously but recently announced its expansion into PA.

Not many new DFS laws in 2018?

The rapid expansion of DFS legalization saw nearly 20 states pass laws in recent years. This year has not brought the same frenzied pace, though some states remain in session.

A bill legalizing DFS in Louisiana just passed the state House and moved in Senate committee this week. Even if passed, the law still goes to Louisiana voters for a parish-by-parish referendum. Operators would be responsible for tracking whether players reside in an approved parish. DFS contests remain illegal in the state for the time being.