Montana Senate OKs “social” fantasy sports

TAGs: daily fantasy sports, Montana, Ohio

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) enthusiasts secured a small victory in Montana after state senators unanimously voted in favor of a limited form of fantasy sports.

Voting 49-0, the Montana Senate approved on third and final reading Senate Bill 25, a measure aim to revise the gaming laws of the state.

Montana Senate OKs “social” fantasy sportsSenator Mark Blasdel, who introduced the measure, said Senate Bill 25 is a product of the Gaming Advisory Council that works in conjunction with the Department of Justice Gaming Control Division.

“There are members from the legislature, from the gaming industry, members from tribal governments and local governments as well and we kind of discuss various issues and come forward with a bill that encumbers a lot of the different work,” Blasdel told members of the Senate during Tuesday’s floor session. The audio clip of the Senate Session is posted on the Montana legislature website.

Under the said measure, participating in certain social fantasy sports leagues will not be considered as gambling or gambling activity.

The Montana Senate defined “gambling” and “gambling activity” as “risking any money, credit, deposit, check, property, or other thing of value for a gain that is contigent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device or gambling enterprise.

SB 25 exempts fantasy sports leagues from the “gambling” and “gambling activity” tags as along as it charge no more than a $35 entry fee and that they are played for prizes of minimal non-monetary value.

The fantasy league should also continue for the length of the season and should not impose charges for draft picks or trades.

Sen. Blasdel clarified that SB 25 doesn’t open it up to the Daily Fantasy Leagues during the Senate session.

“Mr. Chairman, members of this body, this Senate Bill 25 is a product of the Gaming Advisory Council, for the new members, this is one of the interim study groups that,” Sen. Blasdel pointed out. “A few of the highlights in this bill that came two of them actually came from legislative discussions. One is with regard to social fantasy games. This is a very narrow scope of it, this does not open it up to the Daily Fantasy Leagues or the DraftKings and so forth that you see. This is simply a social, non-monetary gift type. It has been narrowly defined and it has to be season long. They cannot charge you for trades.”

Ohio will likely to pass DFS bill this year, says lobbyist

Just like Montana, the Washington State held its legislative hearing on DFS this week which resulted to a surprising revelation – Ohio will likely to pass this year.

Legal Sports Report quoted Rob McKenna, a former state attorney general who lobbies for DraftKings and FanDuel in Washington, saying that “Ohio will likely to pass a bill this year” during his testimony on the legalization of DFS in Washington.

McKenna’s revelation came as a surprise to many since Ohio is relatively early in the legislative process of DFS.

The DFS lobbyist’s news, however, failed to sway Washington State legislators to expedite the bill, with Senate Commerce Committee Chairman saying that there is no chance for the DFS measure to move this year.


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