This week, a key procedural hurdle was cleared by a bill in California designed to license and regulate operators of fantasy sports contests, as the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee approved the proposal 17-1. The bill must still be approved by the Appropriations Committee before it receives a vote by the full Assembly. However, the significance of the Committee’s approval cannot be understated as California is now the first state to move forward with an introduced piece of legislation which proposes regulation of the fantasy sports industry.
What other states have taken up fantasy sports legislation?
Elsewhere around the country, Wisconsin State Representative Tyler Vorpagel has announced his intention to draft a bill aimed at protecting fantasy sports operators by explicitly legalizing the contests. The specifics of the proposal are unknown at this point, however, as Rep. Vorpagel has stated that he will not comment on such details until he has finalized his draft bill.
Fantasy Sports Industry’s News Cycle Continues
The news out of California and Wisconsin comes on the heels of similar regulatory efforts undertaken by the legislatures of Illinois, California and Indiana, as well as the recent endorsement of regulation by the Massachusetts Governor and the Commissioner of the NBA. As fantasy sports contests, and the laws and regulations that govern them, continue to grow and evolve, it is essential that fantasy sports enterprises keep abreast of the developing legal landscape. Operators should regularly review their respective contest platforms, entry fees and prize structures with knowledgeable counsel in order to effectively navigate this rapidly changing regulatory framework and in order to remain compliant with applicable laws.