NewsPublic Affairs / January 27, 2016

Committee Approves Legislation Regulating Daily Fantasy Sports

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Senate panel Wednesday unanimously approved legislation legalizing and regulating daily fantasy sports, such as Fan Duel and DraftKings.  

The proposed bill would impose some insider information protections, barring daily fantasy employees and their families from playing.  It also bars professional athletes and officials from playing.

The measure says game operators must ensure their players are at least 18 years of age and must charge an entry fee to play. Fan Duel attorney Scott Ward says fantasy sports is the new national pastime with more than one million Hoosiers participating.  And he argues daily fantasy isn’t gambling, as some charge.

“Chance plays a very small part in fantasy sports because the game is designed to be determined by skill – skill in picking the statistically best eight or nine players,” Ward said.

But Indiana Council on Problem Gambling executive director Jerry Long disagrees.

“We can call it not gambling but it really is gambling,” he said.

Long says the state needs to ensure it provides enough resources to help those struggling with gambling addiction.  Those funds are largely provided by gaming taxes – which the bill does not impose on daily fantasy sports.

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