It seems every state in the US is looking at daily fantasy sports betting in some form or fashion within the past few months. Since last year, DFS contests have taken center stage with some states choosing to create regulation within the industry while others claim the activity is illegal and ban the contests from taking place. Ohio is the latest state to become involved in the matter, with Senator Bill Coley stating certain contests of DFS are illegal based on state law.
Last Monday, Senator Bill Coley attended a press conference where the republican announced that certain DFS contests that are offered by such companies as FanDuel and DraftKings are illegal based on the law of Ohio. The Senator has proposed a new bill that will ‘clarify’ the rules of the state in regards to electronic gaming as well as daily fantasy sports.
Currently, state law allows betting pools but only when the operator pays out at minimum 100% of the entry fee as a prize. If 100% is not paid out then the gaming option is not allowed. In regards to the bill that Coley is proposing, a Casino Control Commission would be created and have oversight into the daily fantasy sports industry as well as e-gaming sites in the state. New rules would be created to make sure that companies that operate in the state are being compliant. As of today, there is no agency that provides direct oversight to the activities provided by such companies.
Coley has stated that he is not looking to outlaw all DFS gaming. More than ten companies currently operate in the state and offer a wide range of gaming options. However, Coley does want to put operators on alert and have residents of the state aware of issues that can arise from this type of gaming.
DraftKings and FanDuel, the biggest operators of DFS contests, are aware of the proposal by Coley and spokesperson for the companies, Marc La Vorgna, stated after the announcement of the proposal that the Senator is on an island, completely isolated from the residents of Ohio who love fantasy sports. The spokesperson also stated that Coley is isolated from his caucus where no support has been shown for his attempt to ban fantasy sports.
Coley stated the individuals need to understand that taking part in DFS contests is like casino gambling. People at a casino understand that even though the house does not always win, it does more often than not. Coley claims to have crafted a piece of legislation that will Ohioans the ability to continue to take part in fantasy sports contests with oversight in place.