Virginia State Governor Terry McAuliffe enacts law that regulates fantasy gaming

Virginia State Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a law that making the first state in the United States to hold its ground and stood up as they enacted a law that will regulate the age limit for those engaging in fantasy sports such as basketball, baseball and football.

Governor Terry McAuliffe signed into law SB646 otherwise known as the Fantasy Contest Act after a majority vote that requires operators to register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and pay a $50,000 licensing fee. Among other regulations, participants must be 18 or older, and employees of the sites and their family members are prohibited from playing.

ESPN reports that Governor McAuliffe’s spokesperson Brian Coy stated that the law was passed by an overwhelming majority on both chambers with the aim to regulate and keep consumers safe from the fast growing online industry.

With the newregulation, DraftKings and FanDuel welcomed the moved and hope that other states would pattern their laws on fantasy gaming to that of Virginia State. However, not all in the said industry were open to the legislation such as Stars Fantasy Leagues COO and vice president Seth Young, who posted on Twitter that the legislation was only to protect the interest of DraftKings and FanDuel.

On the other hand, FastFantasy CEO Joe Brennan stated that it will be interesting to see how fantasy sports operators would abide by the registration of operation and looks for innovative consideration from other states that would follow what Virginia did.

“It will be interesting to see how many DFS operators step up to register. We certainly will. One thing to keep in mind, regulatory laws rarely stay static. I expect that you’ll see this law, along with legislation in other states, evolve to consider innovation and especially taxation,” Brennan said.

The law states that Fantasy contest includes any online fantasy or simulated game or contest with an entry fee in which the value of all prizes and awards offered to winning participants is established and made known to the participants in advance of the contest.

It also stated that all winning outcomes are determined by the participant’s knowledge and skill and will be reflected by the accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals, including athletes in the case of sports events; and no winning outcome is based on the score, point spread, or any performance of any single actual team or combination of teams or solely on any single performance of an individual athlete or player in any single actual event.

For those who would violate any of those stated in the law will be penalized with $1,000 for each violation.

Photo Courtesy: Edward Kimmel

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