February 8, 2016

Bill Regulates Daily Fantasy Sports But Doesn't Call It Gambling

Senate lawmakers took steps to regulate daily fantasy sports and chose not to classify them as gambling.  - stock photo

Senate lawmakers took steps to regulate daily fantasy sports and chose not to classify them as gambling.

stock photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- Senate lawmakers took steps to regulate daily fantasy sports, and chose not to classify them as gambling.

The bill to regulate online fantasy sports operations like DraftKings and FanDuel  easily passed the Senate, but the legislation’s path through the House isn’t as secure.

The legislation imposed some regulation on the multi-million dollar industry, including bans on insider information and prohibiting professional athletes and officials from playing.  The House had a bill to impose essentially the same regulations – but lawmakers opted not to advance it.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath calls the issue a complex one, but wonders how much attention it needs to garner.

“This is a big deal to a few people who are really engaged in it.  Mr. Rasmussen, who lives across the street from me, has no idea what fantasy football is,” Pelath said.

Speaker Brian Bosma says he used to agree with that position, until he learned how widespread fantasy sports has become, with more than a million Hoosiers participating. 

And as to whether Bosma thinks it should be subject to gaming taxes…

“I mean, if it’s regulated, then it is probably…possibly…it could be…I’m not even going to say it, because somebody will say, ‘Bosma calls for…,’” he said.

Neither Bosma nor Pelath say they play fantasy sports.

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