Friday March 11,21016 : D.F.S. BILL MOVES FORWARD IN CONNECTICUT (Update)
Regulatory bill voted forward in House General Law Committee Thursday.
A bill to regulate and licence fantasy sports in Connecticut moved forward Thursday after being approved 10 vs. 5 by the House General Law Committee.
The measure now moves to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee for further debate.
The bill requires the state Department of Consumer Protection to adopt regulations protecting consumers “who play daily fantasy sports contests for prizes" from unfair or deceptive acts or practices that may arise in the gaming process. The bill characterises DFS as a skill game and not online gambling, which is currently illegal in Connecticut.
It has provisions restricting participation in DFS contests to persons over the age of 18 if monetary prizes are involved; originally the age of 21 years was stipulated, but this was reduced to 18 on debate, with lawmakers arguing that 18-year-olds can already bet on the state lottery.
State Rep. David Baram, co-chairman of the General Law Committee, said the bill remains a “work in progress,” adding:
“Since this is so new to the state of Connecticut and it does have a lot of promise, we want to be cautious and a bit on the conservative side as we introduce this to the public.”
Market leaders FanDuel and DraftKings, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association lobbied for the bill, arguing that DFS is “predominately based on skill, not a game of chance.”
Representing the sector, Chris Grim told the committee:
“It is not enough to know the most popular teams and their most recognizable stars. Fantasy players need to understand the scoring systems, the particular strengths of different players, the type of offensive scheme that they play in, and the quality of their matchups.”
Anne Noble, president of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, said she didn’t oppose the idea of regulating the fantasy sports industry, but it was important that the state lottery enjoyed a level playing field. The lottery wants authority to sell tickets and promote games online.
Earlier this week lawmakers on the state Public Safety and Security Committee raised a bill allowing the sale of lottery tickets online through a licensed vendor (rather than direct from the state lottery). A hearing is scheduled today (Tuesday) to educate members of the state Legislature on the concept and the project.