So that concerns may be addressed originating from a state opinion that calls the kind of betting activity that takes place on daily fantasy sports websites illegal, regulations were approved during an executive session in the Illinois Senate, according to the Associate Press.
Wednesday’s Senate committee approval calls for the contests to be overseen by the Illinois Gaming Board and operators found to have violated the law would be subject to fines. Among other things, the proposal forbids participation by anyone less than 21 years of age.
On December 23 last year, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined the growing list of states and issued an advisory opinion that fantasy sports games played on sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel, which currently have active cases regarding their legality, are considered illegal gambling under Illinois state law. Madigan took the argument over – whether betting on short-term, daily fantasy sports require skill – out of the equation when she pointed out that anytime someone plays a game of chance or skill for money illegal gambling occurs. However, proposals to legalize it have been written by some lawmakers who say many Illinois residents play. Legislation similar to HB3655 is pending in the House.
Opponents of daily fantasy sports betting include those representing Illinois’ commercial casino industry, who question the cost of enforcing the regulations and say they are insufficient.
Industry lawyers maintain daily fantasy sports are not gambling because the outcome of the game isn’t being wagered on, nor are the matchups’ games of chance because the outcomes of the contests are dependent upon a participant’s skill at choosing their team’s players. However, lawmakers in Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Washington, New York and Illinois have a different opinion.
For more than a year now the daily fantasy sports industry has been under a magnifying glass in Illinois. In April last year, one of the first attempts at regulation was made by Rep. Michael Zalewski, according to Legal Sports Report. And in October, language to regulate the industry was officially offered by him. Then in December came AG Madigan’s advisory opinion, which FanDuel and DraftKings immediately responded to by filing a suit to establish their legality. In April, Zalewski’s bill made it through a House committee but has yet to come up for a full House vote.