Vermont’s State Legislature has passed legislation that would expressly legalize and regulate fantasy sports contests and their operators within the State. If enacted, Vermont would become the third state this year to adopt fantasy sports legislation, joining Arkansas and Mississippi.
What are some key provisions of Vermont’s fantasy sports regulatory scheme?
The regulations contained within Vermont’s fantasy sports law will be familiar to those who have followed recent nationwide developments in this space and include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Permitting requirements, with registration fees of $5,000;
- Prevention of employees from participating in contests and sharing confidential information with third parties;
- Requirements that operators verify that participants are at least 18 years of age;
- Strict truth-in-advertising requirements that both prohibit materials that depict minors or school settings or otherwise imply endorsement by colleges or collegiate athletes, and mandate that any representations concerning winnings are accurate and not misleading;
- Disclosure of the number of entries that a participant may submit to a single contest and taking steps to prevent a participant from exceeding that number; and
- Requirements that operators contract with third parties to conduct annual audits.
While the bill does not yet provide for the levying of taxes on operators, as has become commonplace with other recently-enacted fantasy sports statutes, it does direct the Secretary of Administration to present proposals to the Legislature by the end of 2017 concerning an appropriate tax percentage, if any, on in-state revenue. The State Legislature-passed bill will now be sent to the Governor’s desk whereupon he could either sign the bill, veto it or do nothing, in which case the bill will become law within five days of transmission to his office.
Evolution of Fantasy Sports Regulations and the Ongoing Need for a Fantasy Sports Lawyer
The fantasy sports industry, and the laws and regulations that govern it, continue to grow and evolve. Vermont is now the latest State whose legislators and/or regulatory authorities have sought to intervene in the fantasy sports space. As such, it is critical that fantasy sports operators continue to maintain a keen eye on the developing legal landscape. If operators are to effectively navigate this rapidly changing regulatory framework, it is imperative to work closely with knowledgeable fantasy sports lawyers to regularly review their respective contest platforms, entry fees, prize structures and marketing campaigns.