Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Moves Forward in Ohio

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) has turned into a highly-controversial topic in America. Different states have taken a different approach to DFS. The fact that DFS industry has started to grow at a rapid pace made many states to reconsider their stance on the matter. In an attempt to bring additional wealth into the local economy, DFS legislations has appeared on the agenda in several states. It seems that DFS may soon become a regulated industry in Ohio after Ohio Senate voted in favor of a bill, that aims at regulating the provision of such services.
The legalization and regulation of DFS contests have been brought up for discussion some time ago by Reps. Jonathan Dever and Robert McColley. On Wednesday, the majority of Ohio Senate thumbed up the bill that is to authorize the provision of DFS contests by licensed operators such as the giants FanDuel and DraftKings. Currently, the bill is patiently sitting on Gov. John Kasich’s desk, waiting for his signature.
The bill met also opposition among the members of the Senate. A total of 4 officials voted against the bill. Sen. Bill Coley did not throw his support behind the bill, explaining that regulating DFS is to create favorable conditions for gambling-related problems among locals. As it can be recalled, Sen. Coley suggested imposing higher taxes on the DFS operators in order to fund addiction awareness campaigns. His proposal was rejected by the chamber, leaving the operators to pay only 0.26% commercial activity tax on business gross receipts. Sen. Coley argued that the state will not benefit in any way from the regulation of DFS.
Why the Bill Should be Enacted
The bill asserts that the outcome of the fantasy contests is dependent on the player’s knowledge and skills, but not on luck. This means that DFS contests do not qualify as gambling under the existing state’s laws. Supposing that Gov. Kasich signs the bill, the Ohio Casino Control Commission is to be tasked with overseeing the industry. The bill would ban college fantasy games and minors will be also not allowed to play.
Sen. David Burke announced that leaving such a rapidly growing industry unregulated is unacceptable as it is to siphon off money from the government and leave players’ interest unprotected. Optimists believe that Ohio is soon to join the other 16 states, which already regulated the provision of DFS. It was revealed that a great number of people are playing DFS contests, even though these have been held in an unregulated environment.