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Nebraska Lawmakers Discuss New Daily Fantasy Sports Bill

The astronomical growth of the daily fantasy sports industry has attracted the attention of politicians, looking to get a slice of the multi-billion dollar pie for the state funds. In recent years, the daily fantasy sports contests have exploded in popularity. Industry observers are convinced that it is a matter of time for the thriving daily fantasy sports industry to start be taking market share away from the traditional bookies. The number of people, who are regularly playing paid-entry fantasy sports is constantly growing.

Many states across the U.S. are currently trying to clarify the legal status of the daily fantasy sports industry. The most perplexing aspect of the industry is if the daily fantasy sports contests involve more skill or more chance. In other words, the lawmakers should decide if daily fantasy sports are a form of gambling or not. Industry experts claim that the sports betting contests can be best described as skill-dominant gambling games, as the outcome of the games is dependent on both factors.

The clamor to classify daily fantasy sports contests as gambling continues to grow across the U.S. This Tuesday, Nebraska lawmakers commenced debate on a state’s bill that would impose new regulations on fantasy sports websites. The legislative bill would ensure a safe and fair gaming environment.

Supposing that the bill enters the law books, all companies that offer daily fantasy sports contests will be required to register with the Nebraska Department of Revenue. Apart from that, the bill also includes a prohibition on college and high school sports. The companies that violate these requirements will face a hefty fine of $1,000 per violation.

The Battle of Skill vs. Chance in Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports are contests where participants compete against each other. The players are building fictional teams of real players of a professional sport based on a statistics regarding the real performance of the athletes. The fantasy sports websites usually charge an entry fee and offer cash prizes. Some of the leading operators of daily fantasy websites include DraftKings and FanDuel.

Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill explained that the new regulations aim at protecting the players’ interests from the strategies of the daily fantasy “sharks” that use computer algorithms to stack the odds against their competitors. He explained that there are many industry-involved companies that offer as much as 3,000 entries at once, which means that an average player has almost no chances to win. Larson added that there is no authority that regulates the daily fantasy sports industry by far and some companies benefit from the situation.

Larson elaborated that the daily fantasy sports contests are predominantly based on skill. The lawmakers ended the debate without voting on the proposed new regulations. The opposition slammed the proposal, explaining that this it aims at expanding the gambling industry. Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, who is a vocal opponent of the bill, explained that he plans to protract the issue.