Thursday March 17,2016 : ARIZONA LAWMAKERS TO CONSIDER FANTASY SPORTS BILL
One of America's most anti-online gambling states to mull a state Senate measure.
The US state of Arizona – often perceived as one of the bastions of anti-online gambling – could be set to regulate and licence daily fantasy sports betting, according to local media reports.
The Cronkite News reports that state Senate bill 1515, which has sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, exempts participation on websites like Fan Duel and DraftKings from the state’s definition of gambling in Arizona, which would effectively make the popular betting phenomenon legal.
Despite its initial success at committee stage in the Senate, there are still serious concerns among a number of lawmakers that legalising DFS might trigger a "poison pill" provision in the state's gambling compacts with tribal interests which could lead to an expansion of tribal gambling and the possible loss or dilution of the state government's cut in land revenues from this source.
State Senator Martin Quezada says he voted against the bill for this reason, commenting:
“I voted against it because we got advice from several attorneys that the bill would trigger what’s known as the poison pill in our gaming compact that we have with our tribes.”
The state’s compact with the tribes restricts them to conducting defined gaming activities on their respective tribal lands, but not outside those boundaries.
In return, the tribes share the revenue earned from those games with the state. If the tribes feel that the compact is not being honoured, they can invoke the “poison pill,” which would end the compact.
The booming popularity of DFS has persuaded others that legalization is the way to go; Arizona reportedly has about 800,000 adult Arizonans keen to participate in DFS competitions, and a new revenue stream for the state coffers would be useful.
Sen. Quezada acknowledges that there is significant interest in DFS among Arizonans, but advocates a more cautious approach.
“There are a lot of people who are interested in it, a lot of people who want to play it,” Quezada said. “But it’s got to be something that is worked out over a period of time, that people on both sides of the aisle, from the tribal communities and from the proponents of fantasy football can make it work within that compact.”