On Monday, Terry McAuliffe, the Governor of Virginia, signed the Fantasy Contests Act into law. This new law will establish a legal framework for fantasy sports operators to conduct contests within the state. The states of Virginia becomes the first to create and pass such legislation that will provide several consumer protections for players of fantasy sports. These player protections include oversight by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
DraftKings and FanDuel, top DFS companies, will now be required to register with the state of Virginia and pay a fee for licensing which will cover the cost of the oversight group. The legislation was able to pass through the Virginia General Assembly quickly, on the 24th of February, and the governor wasted no time signing the bill into law.
Within the bill, the following consumer protections will be included:
- Fantasy sports sites will have to implement certain policies that will verify that all players participating are at least 18 years of age or older.
- Confidential information is not to be shared that could affect the play of the fantasy contest, in regards to third parties, until the information is available publicly.
- Player funds are to be segregated from the operational funds of the DFS Company.
- Employees of the site, (including relatives living in the employee’s household) are banned from competing in the public contests of fantasy sports for cash prizes on any site.
- The companies offering fantasy sports services are required to have two independent audits conducted each year of the operations to ensure that all regulations are being followed.
After the statement was released on the passing of the DFS legislation in Virginia, DraftKings Director of Public Affairs, Griffin Finan, released a statement which read:
“Today, Virginia became the first state in the nation this year to put in place a thoughtful and appropriate regulatory framework to protect the rights of fantasy players. We thank Governor McAuliffe for his leadership and advocacy and are hopeful that other states across the country will follow Virginia’s lead. We will continue to work actively to replicate this success with dozens of legislatures and are excited to continue these efforts.”