Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law a bill that legalizes and regulates fantasy sports contests and their operators within the State. The enactment makes Arkansas the eleventh such state to fully sanction the industry and impose a regulatory regime governing same.

What are some key provisions of the new Arkansas fantasy sports regulatory scheme?

Arkansas’ fantasy sports regulations contain neither the restrictions on how operators are permitted to conduct their business, nor much of the consumer protection provisions that those in the industry have come to recognize in fantasy sports laws enacted throughout the country. However, the law is unique in that it addresses some generally accepted, but rarely codified, fantasy sports restrictions. Specifically, contests may not either permit participants to automatically draft rosters without any input from the participant or permit participants to choose preselected rosters of athletes. Additionally, the winning outcome of contests must be determined based upon statistics accumulated as a result of fully completed athletic competitions and not merely a portion of a competition or event. A notable highlight within the Arkansas legislation is the imposition of a new quarterly tax on operators for the privilege of conducting contests within the State, levied in an amount equal to 8% of the operator’s gross revenues generated in the State.

Evolution of Fantasy Sports Regulations and the Ongoing Need for a Fantasy Sports Lawyer

We do not anticipate that Arkansas will be the last state to enact legislation concerning the fantasy sports industry, whether such laws ultimately legalize or prohibit fantasy spots contests. As the fantasy sports industry, and the laws and regulations that govern it, continue to grow and evolve, it is essential that fantasy sports operators maintain a watchful eye over the developing legal landscape. To effectively navigate this rapidly changing regulatory framework, operators should work closely with knowledgeable fantasy sports lawyers to regularly review their respective contest platforms, entry fees, prize structures and marketing campaigns.