Shortly before the end of 2017, Ohio governor John Kasich signed into law fantasy sports legislation that expressly legalizes and regulates fantasy sports contests and their operators within the State.

What are some notable provisions of Ohio’s fantasy sports law?

Tracking in substance recently-enacted fantasy sports legislation in other jurisdictions, Ohio’s fantasy sports law is familiar to those in the space that have followed nationwide developments. These regulations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Licensure requirements, with currently undetermined application and renewal fees;
  • Prevention of employees and certain family members from participating in contests and sharing confidential information with third parties;
  • Requirement that operators prohibit contest participation by minors;
  • Requirement that operators establish a maximum number of entries that a participant can submit to a single contest;
  • Strict record retention requirements to allow for State review, including all records used to advertise and promote fantasy sports contests in the State; and
  • Requirement that operators submit to audits.

Ohio’s fantasy sports law affords wide discretion to the State Casino Control Commission to implement additional regulations including, among other things, the discretion to determine the criteria for licensure and the corresponding application and renewal fees associated with such licensure.

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

Ohio has now officially joined the bloc of states whose governing and regulatory bodies have allowed operators to legally conduct business in their respective jurisdictions. Please note, however, that each state that has enacted such regulations has implemented unique requirements in one way or another. 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.