While states such as Oregon and New York have decided to classify daily fantasy sports sites as illegal gaming, one state has decided to create a regulatory bill. In Virginia, a daily fantasy sports regulatory bill has made its way through the Senate and the House, and now awaits the signature of Governor Terry McAuliffe. Bills concerning DFS have been created in several states but Virginia is the first to see such legislation move through both chambers.
SB 646 was introduced on January 18th and has moved quickly to make the governor’s desk. The bill actually would have moved forward at a quicker pace but both the House and Senate had passed different measures concerning DFS and the chambers had to go back and conform the bills to each other, then pass the measures again. The Senate voted 31 to 9 while the House voted 80 to 20 in favor of the DFS legislation.
Provisions of the DFS bill include that operators have to register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and pay a $50,000 fee to register with the state. Violations will be investigated by the DACS as they see fit and sites offering DFS services must ensure that employees as well as employee’s immediate relatives are not taking part in contests. Data at the sites must be secure and player funds will need to be segregated from operational funds. Players taking part in DFS have to be at least 18 years of age and an annual audit will be required of registered operators to stay in business.
The measure must now be reviewed by McAuliffe. The governor can choose to sign the bill into law, amend the measure and return it to the General Assembly for approval, veto the bill or take no action. If the governor decided to not take action, the bill would take effect seven days after landing on his desk.
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