Friday February 19,2016 : INDIANA DAILY FANTASY SPORTS BILL PROGRESSES
Lawmakers want to raise the minimum playing age to 21 years.
A bill (SB339) seeking to declare daily fantasy sports competitions legal in Indiana has been approved by the state Senate and is now under consideration by the House Public Policy Committee, which is expected to vote the measure forward next week.
Among the amendments sought so far by committee members in an initial 90 minute discussion are raising the player minimum age to 21 years, and moving the regulation of daily fantasy sports from the Horse Racing Commission to the Gaming Commission. The fees that daily fantasy sports companies would pay to a newly created fantasy sports administration and regulation fund run by the state are also being considered..
Representative Tom Dermody, who chairs the committee, assured members that amendments will be made as requested before the measure is progressed to the floor of the House for a vote.
There are a 50,000 to 150,000 daily fantasy sports players in Indiana, according to recent estimates by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, and many more who play the traditional season-long fantasy sports vertical.
SB339 author, Sen. Jon Ford has urged lawmakers to ensure the bill is progressed. "If we put this off, we'll still have quite a few Hoosiers playing this without consumer protections," he said.
Not all lawmakers are sure that DFS is a good thing. Rep. Terri Austin expressed concern at the hearing about the impact of DFS on the operations of Indiana's racinos.
"I represent a horse racetrack, and I'm very protective of it," she said to DFS lobbyists. "I would like to make sure you can't come in, and, by Internet gaming, basically undercut what's going on in my community."
Indiana is the home of the NCAA and was the first state to pass a bill specifically prohibiting DFS operators from using college sports.
SB 339 would allow Indiana's racinos and off-track betting operations to create their own fantasy sports games or contract with an existing company. State revenue would come from licensing fees, which the Legislative Services Agency estimates would be $175,000 to $335,000 annually.