Daily Fantasy Sports Weekly Wrap: What Will Happen In Congress?

Posted on May 8, 2016

Here’s a quick look back at what happened this past week, and what to watch for in the coming week in the world of the daily fantasy sports industry:

What happened this week in DFS

No more potatoes for DFS in Idaho: DraftKings and FanDuel reached an agreement with the attorney general in Idaho to stop offering contests there. The legality of DFS there was not on anyone’s radar, previously, despite reported months of negotiations.

FanDuel is now not available to 25% of the U.S. population; DraftKings, as it is still in Texas, has an advantage in that respect.

No DFS logos on NBA jerseys: DFS isn’t gambling, according to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. But DFS companies still can’t have their logos on NBA jerseys, getting lumped in with casinos, tobacco products and alcohol, among other things.

Why can’t they advertise? That’s not clear, but they can still have marketing partnerships with the NBA and its teams.

What to watch for in DFS

DFS heads to DC: The daily fantasy sports industry gets its day in Congress this week, when a House subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday. The witness list does not include anyone from either DraftKings or FanDuel. Look for full coverage at Legal Sports Report.

What exactly will come out of this hearing is a variable, although it is unlikely Congress will be spurred to any sort of immediate action. No legislation regarding DFS has even been floated.

It also appears that sports betting will be part of the discussion on Wednesday.

How a bill becomes a law in Mississippi: The Mississippi legislature passed a bill way back on April 19, but it is still on the waiting list to become a law.

The deadline for Gov. Phil Bryant to sign the bill is May 13, so something will finally happen this week; the state is expected to join Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee with DFS regulation on the books.

Becoming legal in Mississippi would be a nice win for the DFS industry. The attorney general opined that DFS is illegal under state gambling laws in January. DraftKings and FanDuel pulled out of the state soon after.

Colorado, Missouri next?: From progress in these legislatures, it appears both these states could send DFS bills to the governor this week. Colorado could happen as soon as Monday.

These two were among the states that are most likely to pass DFS regulation in the near future. But all eyes will be on New York, which has about five weeks to try to pass legislation, with no progress made — at least publicly.

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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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