Missouri and Colorado turn on the DFS lights, but fight continues in Illinois

Missouri and Colorado turn on the DFS lights, but fight continues in Illinois

Daily fantasy sports operators can now check two more states—Missouri and Colorado—off their regulated to-do list.

Missouri and Colorado turn on the DFS lights, but fight continues in IllinoisLast week, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed a measure allowing DFS games to continue in the state, albeit under strict regulations.

The Missouri Fantasy Sports Consumer Protection Act authorizes the state Gaming Commission to oversee local daily fantasy sports operations. Under the newly-signed act, which takes effect in August, will require operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel to pay an annual licensing fee of $10,000 or 10 percent of their revenue, whichever is lower, as well as an annual operation fee of 11.5 percent of their net revenues from participants in the state, according to state media outlet KFVS12.com. Proceeds from DFS fees will go towards the state’s education funds.

The act also requires the creation of a regulatory framework and consumer protection measures for any fantasy sports contests offered in the state, including banning employees of fantasy sports companies from playing in contests offered to the public. The act also restricts the age of daily fantasy players to at least 18 years old and prohibits contests based on college, high school and youth sports.

“When a new frontier of online betting is available at the touch of a screen, we have a responsibility to protect consumers and young people,” Nixon said, according to the Associated Press.

Missouri, who was once debating the role of skill and luck in DFS contests, is now the fifth state to have signed a legislation allowing daily fantasy companies to continue operating. Other states that have passed DFS legislation this year include Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, and Mississippi, while Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed her regulations overseeing the DFS industry in the state.

Joining the growing list of DFS-friendly states is Colorado after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed H1404 into law on Friday. Like in Missouri, Colorado’s H1404 allows fantasy sports operators to continue in the state under strict regulations, including setting a minimum age of 18 for players and prohibiting contests based on amateur sporting events such as college sports.

Under Colorado’s DFS law, a division in the Department of Regulatory Agencies is tasked to oversee the industry and set up licensing and renewal fees, among other things.

Illinois lawmaker proposes to ban DFS

The DFS cha-cha is not yet over in Illinois.

This time, state Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood)—a vocal DFS opponent—has introduced a new measure that seeks to ban daily fantasy sports in Illinois. If passed, the new bill will make operating DFS contests a crime, but season-long fantasy games will remain legal.

It was only in May when Illinois lawmakers shelved the legislation that would have paved the way for the regulation of DFS in the state. HB3655 was considered to be an “industry-supported measure,” but opposition from other gambling operators and casinos as well as allegations of illegal lobbying for its passage held it up during the last few days of the spring legislative session.