The war on Daily Fantasy Sports has started in 2017. And so far, the outcome is looking good for this multi-billion dollar industry.
Mississippi is the first state in 2017 to officially proclaim Daily Fantasy Sports legal for its residents. Earlier this week, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed House Bill 967 which makes DFS legal. With the signing of this law, sites offering daily fantasy games may now line up to apply for a license.
Fees for said license are meager with a $5,000 charge to obtain, which is good for a period of three years. This pales in comparison to the $200,000 fee New Jersey charges for an online casino operator. The annual fee is $150,000.
Revenue is of course an added benefit of signing Bill 967. An 8% tax will be applied to all operators with a license which experts conclude will generate roughly $5 million per year for the state.
Other additions to the bill include a minimum age of 18 to play. Annual audits of each operator to ensure player funds are handled properly. And background checks.
While Mississippi is the first to pass such a bill in 2017, they are not the first to do so since the game was forced into the fight in 2015. New York became the first to openly regulate and legalize DFS in 2016. Many proponents of the game watched closely as New York’s decision would likely set the precedent for other states. Especially since FanDuel operated inside New York.
As of 2017, Daily Fantasy remains a contested topic among state legislators. While the game is neither legal nor illegal, most would rather see an official stance on the matter from state governments so that we don’t have the mess that online poker is currently dealing with in the United States.
Most of the sites offering Daily Fantasy Sports have taken away one lesson from the online poker regulation process. Most have chosen not to operate in states that have officially proclaimed the game to be a game of chance and in need of regulation.
Included in most online poker regulation bills, was the stipulation that any operator continuing to service American players would not be allowed to apply for a license for a set amount of time. States such as Alabama, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada and Delaware do not permit Daily Fantasy Sports at this time. All of the major operators have pulled out their services in all of these states.
The next big step is considered to be Texas. A state with a much larger population and influence on the rest of the country, Texas could set another precedent for DFS. All but FanDuel still offer their games inside Texas, but seeing what happens in 2017 could change the landscape dramatically.
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