Connecticut lawmakers favor fantasy sports regs

Connecticut lawmakers favor fantasy sports regs

March 12, 2016 8:30 AM
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Connecticut lawmakers favor fantasy sports regsConnecticut is on a path to become the latest state to regulate the online fantasy sports industry.

A legislative committee has forwarded a bill that would require the state’s Department of Consumer Protection commissioner to adopt regulations to protect consumers who play daily fantasy sports contests such as DraftKings and FanDuel.

“Right now, the alternative is, it’s happening but there’s no regulation,” said Rep. David Baram, D-Bloomfield, co-chairman of the General Assembly’s General Law Committee. “So, it’s better that we regulate it.”

The action comes days after Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a bill that formally legalizes and regulates such websites. That new law, which takes effect July 1, also requires the sites to pay a $50,000 initial registration fee and submit to regular outside audits. Other states are considering similar bills.

Like Virginia, Connecticut lawmakers agree that fantasy sports contests are games of skill and not games of chance. Sen. Carlo Leone, D-Stamford, the committee’s other co-chairman, said the panel asked a lot of questions to determine whether the activity is actually gambling. Attorneys general in New York, Illinois and Texas have issued opinions that fantasy sports are illegal games of chance.

“A lot of the information we were able to retrieve fell on the side of game of skill,” Leone said.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: PhilHevener@GamingToday.com.