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Reps. Dever and McColley Introduce Legislation Providing Consumer Protections for Fantasy Sports Participants

March 16, 2017
Republican Newsroom

COLUMBUS—Today, State Representatives Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) and Robert McColley (R-Napoleon) introduced legislation granting consumer protections for the millions of Ohioans who participate in fantasy sports, as well as providing sensible standards to ensure the industry operates in a transparent and accountable manner.

House Bill 132 was developed and carefully drafted in coordination with Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, the Ohio Casino Control Commission, stakeholders from the fantasy sports industry and Ohio fantasy sports participants.

“Each day countless Ohioans participate in daily fantasy sports,” Dever said. “House Bill 132 assures that these participants are protected under the law, while increasing the accountability of fantasy sports operators.”

The legislation updates antiquated state laws to make it clear fantasy sports are legal in Ohio and installs important consumer protections. Together, these reforms aim to create a clear set of regulations fantasy sports companies must follow to operate in Ohio. Ten other states have recently passed similar legislation, and dozens of other states are moving in the same direction.

“House Bill 132 seeks to clarify the legality of daily fantasy sports and ensure Ohioans are able to continue enjoying them,” McColley said.

HB 132 defines a “fantasy sports contest” by using the guidelines already defined in federal law (The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.), which specifically states fantasy sport are legal contests of skill. This would remove any doubt about the legality of fantasy sports in Ohio. It also installs light-touch consumer protection regulations that all companies operating fantasy sports contest in Ohio must follow, utilizing rules established and enforced by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Other provisions include:

• Ensuring players are 18 or older
• Requiring all fantasy game operators to be licensed by the state
• Offering introductory on-boarding for new players
• Prohibiting any contest based on a collegiate or high school sport or athletic event
• Restricting employees of fantasy sports contest companies from playing
• Requiring “highly experienced players” to be clearly identified for all users to see
• Disclosing the number of entries a player may submit to each contest and the number of total entries allowed for each contest
• Taking measures to protect the privacy and online security of players and their accounts
• Keeping player funds separate from operating funds, ensuring player money is accessible at all times

The bill now awaits assignment to a House committee, as well as further testimony.