Daily Fantasy Sports Movement Gaining Ground in the USAApril 5, 2016 2:20 pm
The first regulated online poker site launched in the USA back in 2011, and since then a total of just three states have adopted legislation of their own. While the online poker market continues to decline, daily fantasy sports betting, on the other hand, has surged in popularity and the game is already officially legal in Virginia, Kansas, and Indiana.
The last state to sign a bill into law, Indiana, did so in March, although the new legislation will not officially be operative until July 1st 2016. Key point of the bill include a definition of fantasy sports as a game of skill, and not chance, with operators subsequently required to apply for a licence to offer their services from the state’s Gaming Commission.
Following the bill being signed by Governor Pence, the Director of Public Affairs for DraftKings, Griffin Finan, made the following official statement: “Today, Indiana became yet another state to put in place a thoughtful and appropriate regulatory framework to protect the rights of fantasy players. We thank Governor Pence for his leadership and advocacy and are hopeful that other states across the country will follow Indiana’s lead.”
In fact, around 20 US states are currently considering regulating the game and have proposed bills of their own, including California and Massachusetts. Nevertheless, a whole host of other states have also gone in the opposite direction and declared the game to be an illegal form of gambling, including New York, Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Michigan.
As can clearly be seen, the legality of daily fantasy sports in the US is still a complicated and divisive matter. Even the industry’s two major operators, DraftKings and FanDuel, do not accept the word “illegal” when restricting their products in various states. In the meantime, preliminary successes enjoyed by the industry so far will hopefully encourage more and more states to line up in favor of the increasingly popular pastime.