Pennsylvania gets new daily fantasy sports bill, committee vote June 15

pennsylvania-dunbar-daily-fantasy-sportsPennsylvania has a new daily fantasy sports bill to consider as the clock continues to count on the legislature’s current session.

On Thursday, Pennsylvania state Rep. George Dunbar (pictured) filed HB 2150 (viewable here) aka the Fantasy Sports Consumer Protection Act, an updated version of the legislation Dunbar filed last year. The House Gaming Oversight Committee, of which Dunbar is a member, has scheduled a vote on HB 2150 for June 15 at 9am.

The bill would allow the state’s licensed casino operators to apply to add DFS to their list of gaming options but it doesn’t follow the recommendation in last month’s Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board report that would have compelled standalone DFS operators to partner with one of the state’s brick-and-mortar operators.

The bill requires would-be DFS license applicants to ante up fees of $50k or 7.5% of their revenue from Pennsylvania players, whichever is less, while license renewals will cost $5k. Licensed DFS operators will also have to pay 5% tax on their revenue derived from Pennsylvania players, payable on a quarterly basis.

The bill restricts DFS play to individuals 18 years of age or older although brick-and-mortar licensees can choose to restrict action to players 21 or older. Casino licensees have the option of putting “fantasy contest terminals” on their properties.

The other details are now largely boilerplate for this type of bill, including prohibiting DFS contests on college sports and establishing a maximum number of entries any single participant can submit per DFS contest.

Pennsylvania is facing a July 1 deadline for crafting the state’s latest budget. As usual, legislators are looking to cut taxes while the governor looks to boost spending, and new funding sources will be needed to close the gap. DFS might not contribute much to this closure, but the not-quite-dead-yet push to legalize online gambling in the state would prove more valuable. Watch this space.