Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) seems to gather momentum in Ohio, as the local professional baseball team also known as Clevland Indians expressed their support to the legalization of the DFS contests throughout the state. In fact, the sector emerged on the surface as pretty juicy and a number of states realized the benefits of legalizing it. Ohio is the next state on the line, which is exploring the opportunity to exempt DFS sector from the constraints of its gambling law.
In a letter to the Ohio Senate Finance Committee, Paul Dolan, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Cleveland Indians, backed up the regulation of the DFS contest in Ohio. He explained that such a move is to be in the best interest of the basketball team, which collaborated with DraftKings (a leading DFS company) under a marketing partnership deal sealed in 2015. Mr. Dolan added that by regulating the DfS market, the state is to protect the players’ interests and provide them with one fair and safe gaming environment.
The bill, which aims to legalize DFS contests is sponsored by Dever and Rob McColley. In May this year, the bill reeved its way through the House, but it still needs to go a long way to enter the state’s legal framework. The legislative piece is currently pending approval from the Senate, which will decide if the bill is appropriate to appear on Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s desk or it needs certain improvements. But it seems that the bill has big chances to enter the state’s legal framework, taking into account that during the last 3 hearings of the Senate, the legislative piece did not meet any opposition. Supposing the bill comes into effect, the Ohio Casino Control Commission will be assigned the watchdog task, being responsible for issuing licenses and overseeing the contests.
According to Peter Schoenke, Chairman of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the number of Americans, who play DFS is more than 53 million and 2 million are residents of Ohio. Up to date, the residents of Ohio are able to play DFS contest on various websites as there are no precise state regulations on the matter. The 2 major online websites, which are allowed to offer DFS contests are DraftKing and FanDuel Inc. as their games are said to be based on skills, but not on luck.
In-depth Look at the Ohio’s DFS Bill
The bill suggests that the DFS operators will be able to apply for a 3-year long license, which is to cost up to $30,000 for larger operators. Apart from that, the state strictly prohibits any contests based on youth or college sports. What is more is that operators will be obliged to pay all prizes, which has been won during a particular contest immediately after the contest is over. Last, but not least, the bill states that the players, who are allowed to participate in DFS contests should be at least 18 years old. It is still too early to project if Ohio’s residents will soon enjoy playing DFS contests in a regulated market, but one thing is for sure – the bill has increased its odds to pass.