Tuesday, March 29, 2016 : CONNECTICUT DAILY FANTASY SPORTS BILL STILL AT COMMITTEE STAGE
Lawmaker says legalization could initially bring in $7 million for the state coffers.
Rep. David Baram, co-chair of the Connecticut state legislature's Joint Committee on General Law has been promoting the legalization of DFS over the weekend, telling local media that the project could result in an extra $7 million for state coffers.
Baram's committee introduced Senate Bill 192 last month and the measure is currently in the legislature's committee structure, with the next hurdle the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, which apparently is mulling a DFS per-transaction fee similar to the "rake" in a poker game or taxes on winnings.
The publication Hartford Business reports that the latest version of the bill proposes that daily fantasy sports websites should not be considered gambling. Lawmakers have also lowered the minimum playing age from 21 to 18, and created a first-time $50,000 registration fee for DFS operators, with annual renewal fees of up to $10,000.
Baram told Hartford Business that DFS lobbyists had convinced the General Law Committee that their contests were games predominantly of skill, but that state lawmakers were keeping a wary eye on the possbility of conflict with tribal gambling interests with which the state has gambling agreements.
"There is tremendous concern by the state that if we regulate and legalize fantasy sports that it not violate the compacts," Baram said.
Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods pay 25 percent of their slots revenues to the state, which brought in $268 million in fiscal year 2015.
"Nobody wants to jeopardize that," Baram said.