NewsPublic Affairs / September 9, 2016

Commission Sets Low Bar For What Qualifies As Paid Fantasy Sports

IU student Ben Segelbaum scrolls through Draft Kings, a daily fantasy sports site. - Harrison Wagner/WFIU-WTIU

IU student Ben Segelbaum scrolls through Draft Kings, a daily fantasy sports site.

Harrison Wagner/WFIU-WTIU

The Indiana Gaming Commission Thursday established a framework for paid fantasy sports providers to apply for licenses under the state’s new law.

Last session’s paid fantasy sports law established a few requirements – including a $50,000 operator licensing fee.

Gaming Commission Deputy Director Jennifer Reske says the agency’s role is limited when it comes to evaluating license applications.

“We’re going to focus on the technical aspects of their site, the security of the site, the age verification,” says Reske.

In most fantasy sports, customers pick players, then they win or lose money based on those players’ performances, whether in a single day or over a season. But some operators are now also offering what largely amount to “prop bets.” Essentially, during a game, a question will pop up: Will a certain player make his next field goal? And then customers win or lose money based on their guesses.

Reske says the new law is written very broadly when it comes to those contests.

“And if it wasn’t specifically prohibited, I don’t know that we intend to take that on as our issue and make it illegal,” he says.

Operators have until Nov. 1 to apply for their licenses.

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