Mississippi Taking Steps to Legalize Daily Fantasy Sports
The war against daily fantasy sports is starting to turn a corner. DFS giants DraftKings and FanDuel still may have a long ways to go to clear through the mess that started with the beginning of last year’s NFL season, but recent signs point to future success.
Mississippi Inching Closer
More specifically, a Mississippi ruling has the state leaning toward officially legalizing daily fantasy sports in the near future. Per reports, Mississippi legislators have gone against a previous opinion from Attorney general Jim Hood, who initially proposed that DFS broke existing Mississippi state law that prohibited gambling.
When prompted for his opinion on whether or not DFS was legal in the state, Hood made his stance clear:
Fantasy sports wagering is illegal in the state of Mississippi under current law both on a licensed gaming floor and outside of a licensed gaming floor. Any change to the law would be a matter within the purview of the Legislature
Hood’s harsh stance against DFS initially forced DraftKings and FanDuel out of the state, but new thoughts on regulating daily fantasy sports could have DFS back in Mississippi permanently.
The Mississippi Senate had originally brought forth a bill to regulate daily fantasy sports (it was naturally turned down by the House), but the bill also included the creation of a conference committee that was designed to analyze DFS legislation on a higher level.
The bill was altered, but the committee stemming from the original bill gathered to discuss the future of daily fantasy sports in the state. From there, Mississippi pushed forward with an eye on bringing a clearer stance out in the open. Because of that, Mississippi now stands to join Tennessee in moving a bill that will legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports in both states.
Per the pending bill – which moves on to the state governor – DFS operators will be permitted to re-enter the market in the state until July of 2017, when a “Fantasy Contest Task Force” is scheduled to “undertake a comprehensive review of the offering of fantasy contests with a fee within [Mississippi]”. The group will also set out to suggest how the state should go about regulating DFS.
Mississippi follows closely behind Tennessee, who recently passed DFS Bill 27-2 to Governor Bill Haslam. Once Haslam signs off, Tennessee is set to become just the third state to officially legalize daily fantasy sports in the past year.
Opinions Torn Down
Legal opinions have thus far gotten in the way of accurate interpretation of what many see as either confusing or out-date laws within most of the states.
Federal law still has no direct stance against daily fantasy sports, making it completely legal, but cries for regulation and harsh takes from state Attorney General’s have left the DFS realm cloudy at best over the last several months.
The recent momentum has the DFS community feeling positive about the future of the industry, however. Next up is Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who will either pass or veto the bill.
Bryant is widely expected to pass the bill, which could continue a positive trend and work towards DFS not only eventually being regulated at a high level, but also being 100% legal in the states.
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