Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings have faced growing opposition is a number of states who have pushed to ban DFS operators on the basis that the DFS games are based on chance and not on skill. However Colorado and Missouri lawmakers have taken a different stance after passing new legislation last week that allow DFS operators to operate legally in their respective states.
Jay Nixon, the Missouri governor signed a new DFS law into being which will ensure that the DFS industry is strictly monitored in the state. The gaming commission has now been authorized by the Missouri Fantasy Sports Consumer Protection Act to monitor all DFS operations. The new law will come into effect in August 2016 and will require all DFS operators to pay either ten percent of their revenue or $10,000 depending on which is lower.
Apart from this DFS operators will also be required to pay a yearly operation of 11.5 percent out of their net revenues. The new law stipulates that the proceeds collected from DFS operators must be given towards educational funds in the state. The law also requires consumer protection measures and a regulatory framework for DFS contests to be prepared and should include a ban preventing employees from DFS companies from taking part in contests that are open to the general public. The law also bans DFS operators from covering youth, high school and college sports and makes it mandatory for all DFS players to be 18 years of age.
In a statement, Nixon said “When a new frontier of online betting is available at the touch of a screen, we have a responsibility to protect consumers and young people. I appreciate the General Assembly for answering my call to bring forward common-sense consumer protection to make sure fantasy sports gaming in Missouri is operated responsibly and with accountability.”
Colorado also signed a new DFS law on the same day as Missouri after Gov. John Hickenlooper approved H1404 making it legal for DFS companies to operate in Colorado. The H1404 law is very similar to the Missouri bill as it also prevents DFS operators from covering high school and college football and also makes it mandatory for all DFS players to be a minimum of 18 years of age. The new bill imposes strict regulations on DFS operators and has made a department under the Department of Regulatory Agencies responsible for setting up licensing and renewing fees and monitoring the DFS industry in the state.
Tennessee, Virginia, Mississippi and Indiana are the four states to have signed new legislation this year to make DFS legal. Colorado and Missouri have become the fifth and sixth states to have legalized the DFS industry in 2016.