New DFS bill passed Indiana Senate

If the House Public Policy Committee approves the new legislation next week, it would move to the full House.

US.- Indiana lawmakers are working on a bill that seeks to clarify the legality of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the state. Bill 339 passed the Senate yesterday (Wednesday) and it will be discussed at the House Public Policy Committee next Wednesday. If approved, the new legislation will move forward to the full House.

The Senate Bill 339 may be subjected to amendments but as is currently written, a player would have to be at least 18 years old to participate in paid DFS (the age limit may be raised to 21 years old,) the Indiana Horse Racing Commission would monitor the sector in Indiana and any DFS site wanting to operate in the state would have to pay an annual US$5,000 fee. It would also explicitly say that DFS is not gambling, which is a vital distinction for the industry, as federal law prohibits sports gambling based on the outcome of games or athletic performance of athletes in 46 states, including Indiana.

Scott Ward, a representative for DraftKings and FanDuel celebrated the inclusion in the bill of the clarification that sets apart DFS from gambling. He explained that online fantasy sports outlets do not control the outcome of the game like casinos can, therefore it shouldn’t be considered gambling. He said is not like poker where the cards are controlled by the House as there is no “House” in fantasy sports. “We are not a part of the game,” concluded Ward. “There is no chance for DFS to win the game.”

Peter Schoenke, chair of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, said:”Fantasy sports have become a new national pastime. We estimate 1 million Indiana residents participate every year.” According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, there are 50,000 to 150,000 DFS players in Indiana. The Legislative Services Agency estimates the state revenue that would come from licensing fees, could amount from US$175,000 to US$335,000 annually.