We have been chronicling the recent developments in Kansas regarding the State’s efforts to legalize fantasy sports contests, including the introduction of a bill to legalize pay-to-play fantasy sports, as well as the recent legal opinion issued by the State Attorney General concerning the constitutionality of fantasy sports in Kansas. Now, on the heels of the Attorney General’s opinion, the Kansas State Senate served up a resounding victory for proponents of legal fantasy sports by passing the bill with a 37-1 margin. The bill, however, still requires passage by the State House of Representatives and subsequent signature from the Governor in order to ultimately become law.
What other fantasy sports-related developments are happening at the state level?
Additionally, a Pennsylvania State Representative this week made public his intentions to introduce a bill that would bring fantasy sports leagues from the Internet to brick and mortar locations. Though the bill does not yet exist, details emerged from a public statement this week in which the Representative indicated that he intended to introduce a proposal that would allow casinos to hold their own fantasy tournaments within the confines of the casino. The Representative envisions that regulations that would govern the tournaments would be determined by the State Gaming Control Board. Under the referenced proposal, casinos would be required to obtain a license in order to conduct such tournaments.
What lies ahead for state level fantasy sports legalization?
The past year has seen a whirlwind of activity in state legislatures across the country involving the legality of fantasy sports contests. We have previously written of legalization efforts in Washington, Indiana, Louisiana, Iowa, and Montana. The efforts in these states, as well as recent events in Kansas, indicate clear momentum to address the legal status of fantasy sports in those remaining jurisdictions which do not otherwise allow for legal pay-to-play fantasy sports contests. The events in Pennsylvania also seemingly indicate that a new front is being opened in the battle over legalized fantasy sports where tournaments are now sought to be held in licensed casinos, in addition to traditional Internet fora.
The evolution of state law in this field remains a significant topic for all gaming attorneys, fantasy sports lawyers and those interested in fantasy sports law in general. Where you plan on engaging in, or operating, a fantasy sports or other gaming venture, it is important to retain competent legal counsel to help you design your contests so that they comport with applicable law.