The US state of Georgia is giving the legalization of daily fantasy sports another try – but this time with more politicians backing the proposed bill.
State representatives Trey Kelley, Brett Harrell, David Clark, Spencer Frye, and Chuck Martin filed House Bill 118, which seeks to “provide for the licensing, registration, regulation, and taxation of fantasy contest operators.”
Called the “Fantasy Contests Act,” the proposed measure contains similar provisions from many bills that state lawmakers have introduced over the past year and a half but failed to pass.
The bill, which is now being taken up by the House Committee on Ways and Means, aims to strike a balance between protecting the welfare of consumers and creating a relatively low barrier to entry for paid-entry fantasy sports operators.
Under H 118, the Department of the Secretary of State will take on the oversight of the DFS. The bill also mandates DFS companies to register in Georgia if they have players in the state.
The bill also sets a sliding scale of registration fees — from $50,000 down to $10,000 — that would apply to fantasy contest operators. It also allows the state to tax gross revenues at a rate of six percent.
It also provides several measures to protect the welfare of consumers, such as preventing employee play, play by minors and segregation of a site’s operational fund and player funds.
DFS giants DraftKings and FanDuel said the filing of a DFS bill in Georgia is a very much welcome development for the industry.
“The bill takes the right approach by installing the consumer protections that have now been proven to work in many other states, while tailoring the correct specific touches for the state of Georgia. It updates older state laws to reflect changes in technology and the evolution of fantasy sports, and provides a path for the industry to generate revenue for the state as the fantasy sports industry continues to grow,” the companies said in a statement.
This is not the first time that a pro-DFS bill has been introduced in the state.
In February 2016, State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, has filed a DFS regulation bill following efforts in other states to place rules on companies operating daily fantasy sports websites. The bill, however, stops short of calling it gambling,