Virginia Progress: Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Passes Senate

Written By Dustin Gouker on February 8, 2016
Virginia DFS

[toc]Virginia’s Senate passed a daily fantasy sports regulatory bill on Monday — the third state where legislation has gotten a positive vote in front of a full chamber.

The passage of the DFS bill in Virginia

The state Senate passed the bill by a vote of 28-10 — a sightly closer margin than the overwhelming votes in a couple of other states. Virginia joins California and Indiana as states where one of the state house’s two bodies have passed a piece of DFS legislation.

No state has voted down a DFS bill in either a committee vote or a vote in a general assembly in 2016.

The bill — SB 646 — now heads to the House of Delegates.

Compared with a lot of other states, the amount of chatter in Virginia has been nearly non-existent. A trio of bills showed up in January, and they’ve passed through committees, and with little fanfare and media coverage.

But the effort has obviously gotten traction, and has a chance at being one of the first bill to make it to the finish line.

A closer look at the bill

The bill, like many proposed in other states, seeks to exempt DFS from gambling law there while also implementing basic consumer protections.

The highlights of the bill:

  • DFS operators must register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
  • Registration takes place annually; a licensing fee of $50,000 is charged to operators.
  • Sites must take steps to prevent employees and their immediate relatives from playing in contests; to ensure security of data at the sites; and to segregate player funds from operational funds.
  • It sets a minimum age of 18 to play DFS.
  • Sites must allow players to exclude themselves if they desire.
  • The bill imposes a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation of the terms of the bill.
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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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