On Monday, March 7, 2016 Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a fantasy sports bill, making Virginia the first state to enact a law to regulate the industry.
According to Legal Sports Report, the bill creates the Fantasy Sports Act. This covers some of the following items:
- Operators must register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
- Operators must pay a $50,000 fee to register in the state.
- The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may investigate violations of the act and is granted powers to enforce it.
- Sites must take steps to prevent employees and their immediate relatives from playing in contests; to ensure security of data at the sites; and to segregate player funds from operational funs, among other consumer protections.
- Sets a minimum age of 18 to play DFS.
- An annual audit of all registered operators is required.
We expect DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo! to apply for licenses in Virginia. There will likely be additional operators that apply in the state, but we're not positive who those will be yet.
The Director of Public Affairs for DraftKings, Griffin Finan, said the following:
"Today, Virginia became the first state in the nation this year to put in place a thoughtful and appropriate regulatory framework to protect the rights of fantasy players. We thank Governor McAuliffe for his leadership and advocacy and are hopeful that other states across the country will follow Virginia’s lead. We will continue to work actively to replicate this success with dozens of legislatures and are excited to continue these efforts."
The Counsel for Policy and Government Affairs for FanDuel, Cory Fox, said the following:
“Governor McAuliffe and members of the Virginia legislature took a thoughtful, deliberative approach to establishing a law that safeguards fantasy sports while installing consumer protections. Virginia showed real leadership in being the first state to pass smart regulations this year and we hope to see more states follow Virginia’s lead in the months ahead.”
If you're playing DFS in Virginia, you'll likely remain unaffected. If you run a DFS site that lets users play there, we'd recommend speaking with an attorney about the fallout.
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.
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