By Rachel Hoffmeyer
All paid fantasy sports websites already operating in Indiana will continue business as usual at least until November.
A law passed by the legislature this year requires paid fantasy sports sites, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, to be approved by the Gaming Commission.
“I think the spirit of this law was to create a consumer protection so that patrons could participate in this activity, and that this activity is regulated and fair. That is the direction we were given by the legislature and that is really the cornerstone of our efforts,” commission Deputy Director Jenny Reske said.
At its November meeting, the commission will review operators that didn’t submit their applications, including the $50,000 licensure fee, by the Nov. 1 deadline.
According to the commission’s executive director, Sarah Tait, they will also take action against those operators. Exactly what type of action, the commission’s lawyer, Greg Small, isn’t sure. He said the commission is working with the attorney general’s office to determine the best course of action.
The Gaming Commission plans to start approving applications at the March 2017 meeting. They’ll consider the website’s technical aspects, security and age verification process.
As for determinations whether a website meets the state’s legal definition of a paid fantasy website and not a gambling site, Reske plans to defer to the law.
“If you look at the terminology, the word contest is used, which I think defines maybe a broader range of activities than what was really formally discussed during the legislative process,” she said.
That could mean prop bets, which let players bet on individual occurances in a game, will remain legal despite critics arguments that no skill is involved. Reske said the commission plans to approach the law as a consumer protection bill.
“If it wasn’t specifically prohibited, then I don’t know that we intend to take that on as our issue and make it illegal,” she said.
Rachel Hoffmeyer is the executive editor of TheStatehouseFile.com.