It has been a year since Indiana’s fantasy sports law went into effect. Nevertheless, in that time, the Hoosier State has only issued fantasy sports licenses to three operators, while alerting several other companies to cease their Indiana-related operations for lack of licensure.
Why have so few fantasy sports operators obtained licenses in Indiana?
As our blog readers will recall, a key condition to obtaining an Indiana fantasy sports license is the initial payment of $50,000 to register with the State’s Gaming Commission. The initial payment is also supplemented by annual fees of $5,000. Many of the smaller operators in the fantasy sports space have thus far seemingly found these costs to be a prohibitive barrier to entry.
Once operators have met the fee requirements of Indiana, they are subject to various regulations governing their operations and the contests that they offer including, but not limited to, the following:
- Prohibition on college and high school sports-related contest offerings;
- Verification that all contest participants are at least 18 years of age;
- Disclosure of the number of entries that each participant may submit in a single contest;
- Refraining from advertising paid fantasy sports contests at schools and at sports areas used exclusively for student sports activities; and
- Submission of audits to verify compliance with the statutory scheme every three (3) years.
The Continued Evolution of the Fantasy Sports Law Landscape
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, together with their entry fee and prize structures with knowledgeable counsel in order to effectively navigate this rapidly-changing regulatory framework.