DFS Legislation Heads To Desk Of Gov. Mike Pence
Legal Sports Report

Indiana Becomes Second State To Send Daily Fantasy Sports Regulation To Governor

Indiana DFS bill passes Senate
Indiana became the second state to officially send a fantasy sports regulatory bill to a governor after the Senate passed legislation on Friday.

Virginia’s fantasy sports bill was passed by both chambers last week and landed on the governor’s desk this week.

The bill won’t immediately go to Gov. Mike Pence, per GamblingCompliance, but will head there soon:

While it was good news for DFS in Indiana, the news was not as good in Florida, where an effort to tack DFS language onto another bill was abandoned.

What happened in Indiana on DFS

The Senate concurred with the House version of the fantasy sports bill on Friday, just a day after the House passed S 339 — an amended version of the original Senate bill — by an 82-12 margin a day earlier. It passed by the Senate by a 34-10 vote.

Since the bill had last been in the Senate, it had been changed a few times. Among the major changes since the bill was first introduced that are now in the bill:

  • The bill now has a $50,000 licensing fee, with a $5,000 renewal.
  • Oversight of the industry is handled by the state gaming commission.
  • Operators may not offer contests based on amateur contests — that includes college football and basketball.

What’s next for the Indiana bill?

The bill will head to the office of Gov. Mike Pence.

Like in Virginia, the bill passed by overwhelming majorities in both houses, so to think that Pence would veto the bill is unlikely. He’s a Republican, and Republicans hold massive majorities in both chambers.

Indiana is a state where the governor does not have a power to use a line-item veto, meaning Pence’s only choices are to sign the bill, veto it, or take no action and it becomes law.

DraftKings’ reaction

Griffin Finan, Director of Public Affairs for DraftKings, said this after Indiana passed the bill:

“We are pleased with the progress today in Indiana and thank Senator Ford and Representative Morrison for their advocacy. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with legislatures across the country to put in place a regulatory framework with thoughtful and appropriate consumer protections for fantasy sports players.”

The same problem for season-long operators as VA?

The Indiana bill, as currently written, would make it difficult for season-long operators to apply for a license — they take far less in entry fees than DraftKings, FanDuel and other DFS operators.

It’s the same problem that’s cropped up in Virginia, where a handful of operators are opposing the bill that is still being backed by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

It appears likely that the same group will voice its opposition to this bill.

The fees may also serve to keep small DFS operators out of the market, as currently constructed.

Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

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.