HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 22Issue 2Indiana Lawmakers Invite Fantasy Operator to State, Introduce Oversight Legislation

On Monday, January 6, 2016, the Republican Caucus for the Indiana House of Representatives issued a statement inviting FanDuel to relocate from its current headquarters in New York to Indiana. The invitation was extended amidst ongoing litigation between FanDuel and the New York Attorney General over the legality of FanDuel’s daily fantasy sports operations. In addition, companion legislation was introduced in the Indiana House and Senate that, if passed, would authorize and regulate fantasy sports contests.

Representative Alan Morrison and Senator Jon Ford stated in the release that “[t]hough FanDuel is headquartered in New York, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has tried to ban FanDuel from operating….With the backlash they have received in their home state, we propose FanDuel more their headquarters to Indiana.”

The statement also notes that the legislators are “calling for basic consumer protections and transparency, so consumers who use fantasy sports sites in Indiana are protected. By adding some industry-accepted consumer protections, we hope to give all participants the assurance of a fair game while participating in these sites. We believe that sports drafting is a game of skill and not of chance.”

Legislation was introduced by Rep. Morrison and by Sen. Ford, both on January 7, 2016, which would amend the state’s horse racing laws to permit paid fantasy sports contests. House Bill 1168 and Senate Bill 339 are companion bills that include language that would clarify that fantasy sports do not constitute “gambling” as defined under state law and would establish a Paid Fantasy Sports Division within the Indiana Horse Racing Commission that would regulate operations. The legislation also includes a $5,000 annual licensing fee for operators, allow those 18 or older to participate in contests, and include protections against insider participation in games.

Daily fantasy sports operators have been the subject of increased attention to their operations since advertising efforts were increased this fall. Jurisdictions have taken varying approaches in regulating the activity. FanDuel and its primary competitor, Draft Kings, are currently facing legal challenges over their daily fantasy operations in New York, which includes claims that the two operators are operating illegal gambling schemes and promoting those operations through false or misleading advertising. In Massachusetts, State Attorney General Maura Healey has released a draft set of daily fantasy regulations under the state’s consumer protection laws seeking to regulate aspects of the operations. Other jurisdictions, such as Indiana, may potentially pass legislation that either authorize operations or clarify that daily fantasy contests are not prohibited by current law. 

On January 7, 2016, both House Bill 1168 and Senate Bill 339 were referred to their respective chamber’s Committee on Public Policy.

 

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