Many states across the US are taking an inside look at the daily fantasy sports industry. Some states begin by ruling the contests as illegal gambling activity while others have passed legislation to regulate the industry. The state of Pennsylvania just saw their Gaming Control Board release a report after considering the possible regulation of DFS gaming. Legislature had passed a law that mandated the completion of a report on DFS by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, with the PGCB to look at the activity as a gambling product.
The report states that the same licensing and oversight that is involved with the casinos of the state should also be applied to the daily fantasy sports industry. The PGCB suggests that if oversight responsibility is given to the Gaming Control Board, that fantasy sports contests should be provided via existing licensees of slot machine gaming. This would be done as a gaming related amenity that is operated through the website of the licensee. The report finds that providers of DFS gaming, such as DraftKings, should contract out with licensees, with regulations put in place by the Board.
This route for regulation would be one that is different than other states who have passed legislation on the matter but would be similar to what Nevada currently has in place. However, the report also discusses alternatives to regulating DFS contests within the state.
DFS could also be tied already to internet gambling within the state. HB 649 is current legislation on the table that would provide casino and poker games online within the state. The bill also has the option for other gambling expansions to take place. The Gaming Control Board suggests that daily fantasy sports betting would be handled best when considered with online gambling legislation.
The Board stated that fantasy sports is another means of online gaming and due to the similarities, the activity could be placed within the regulatory authority of the Board that is established via HB 649. Also to be considered are consumer protections as well as oversight of the industry. These two points are areas in which every state that has passed or considered legislation for regulation of the DFS industry have included. Consumers must be protected with age limits put in place, with the Board suggesting a minimum of 21 years of age for players.
The report will now move forward to the House Gaming Oversight Committee with a tentative date set for June. Once presented, it is believed legislation will be drafted and could be added to HB 649.