Vermont and Ohio May Become Next States to Adopt DFS Regulations

With daily fantasy sports contests gaining fast-paced nationwide popularity, Vermont and Ohio may become the next two US states to legalize and regulate the provision of this type of offering.

As it can be seen, DFS’ legality is a matter left to each individual state to cope with, similarly to other forms of gambling. It is also important to note that under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, wagers placed on fantasy sports contests are not illegal.

Generally speaking, DFS contests are neither legal, nor explicitly illegal in Vermont and Ohio. Laws in both Vermont and Ohio are rather fuzzy when it comes to daily fantasy sports, but it seems that the current status quo may be replaced by improved clarity over the matter.

Similarly to other US states, Ohio’s Constitution bans the introduction of further games whose outcome is predominantly based on luck. A DFS bill is currently being considered in the state’s House.

Generally speaking, it provides for the legalization and regulation of DFS contests and offers a clear-cut taxation system. Under the bill, any DFS operator interested to operate in the state will have to obtain a license from the local gambling regulator. It will also have to pay a $30,000 license fee. A successful license application will secure the applicant with a three-year license.

People employed in the state’s DFS industry, professional athletes, and underaged people will not be able to participate in DFS contests. What is more, basing contests on college games will also be considered illegal under Ohio’s DFS regulations, if these are adopted. If the state’s House approves the proposed bill, it will head to the Senate next. It will also require a signature from Gov. John R. Kasich in order to become law.

The DFS legislative effort in Vermont has entered the home stretch and it only requires an approval from Gov. Phil Scott. Although the state’s top official has not revealed whether he will sign S 136 into law or veto it instead, it is believed that his final decision will be one favorable to the DFS industry, particularly given the momentum the legislative piece has gained.

In a manner similar to its Ohio counterpart, the bill includes regulatory and taxation provisions. However, unlike its Ohio counterpart, it does not state specifically how much licensed DFS operators will have to pay in taxes to the state. It also does not specify the licensing fee that operators will have to pay upon applying for a license. That final task will be left to the Vermont Agency of Administration.

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