Legislation Proposed to Regulate Online Fantasy Sports in Georgia

Despite the popularity of Fantasy Sports, there has only been confusing surrounding their legal standing. A piece of proposed legislation can soon validate daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings and declare their activity as lawful in Georgia.

Different positions make things complicated

The fan following for daily fantasy sports seems to be growing by the millions in the USA but despite the attractiveness of these games, they seem to have the public divided in two. While some claim fantasy sports is nothing more than a game of luck, others maintain it is a skill based activity.

Fantasy sports sites allow players to create virtual teams comprising of digital representations of real athletes; they can then pay a fee to enter these teams into tournaments and win actual cash prizes when their teams are victorious. The performance of their teams is dictated by real life accomplishments of the athletes themselves, therefore, many believe, it requires specialized skill and knowledge to build and manage these digital groups.

State Senator, Renee S Unterman of Bulford, filed a new legislation, to explicitly declare fantasy sports a game of skill in Georgia. She believes, fantasy sports are very different from traditional gambling- buying a lottery ticket or scratch card. This bill is the first of its kind to be introduced in the state. It looks to offer consumer protection for the users of the growing industry; it would set up minimum age requirements and ban employees of operating companies from participating in their virtual matches.

A lobbying success?

Attorney Page Pate, of Pate and Johnsons Law Firm stated that the motivations behind this legislation are less philanthropic than it may seem; while it looks like the government is trying to bring regulation to the fantasy sports industry, big operators like FanDuel and DraftKings are in fact lobbying behind such bills to clearly establish their legal status, and in turn boost their profits.

Georgia Lottery has unmistakably stated that under current gambling laws, fantasy sports should be classified as illegal activity but refused to comment further until they had reviewed the bill. The fantasy sports industry is under much scrutiny in various states in the country. There are ongoing federal investigations into their activities in New York and Florida, while Nevada and Hawaii have plainly labelled them as illegal.

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