Illinois Introduces Legislation To Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports

When Nevada banned daily fantasy sports last week, many believed it would be the catalyst for other states to either ban or attempt to regulate the growing industry.

An announcement today from Illinois state Rep. Mike Zalewski confirms this, as he has introduced legislation for Illinois to regulate DFS sites like Fanduel and DraftKings.

Specifically, the legislation will apply a stricter definition to daily fantasy sports, ensuring it isn’t gambling or sports betting, which would violate the state’s criminal laws. It will also require that anyone under the age of 18 is banned from participating in the daily games.

Interestingly, Zalewski is emphasizing that a major part of the regulation is to implement safeguards that will stop players from “overspending”. One proposed way this will be done is by allowing the sites to check players for child support or tax liens that may need to be paid before the users can spend their money on the site.

When asked for comment, FanDuel, one of the two largest DFS sites, said that they welcome the opportunity to work with the state to implement new best practices.

“FanDuel has always focused on maintaining the integrity of our games and the trust of our players. We welcome the opportunity to work with Rep. Zalewski and lawmakers in Illinois to safeguard consumers, introduce best practices that the entire fantasy industry can adhere to, and ensuring that sports fans across Illinois can continue to play fantasy sports.” – FanDuel Spokesperson

With the creation of this legislation, Illinois joins a slew of others states that have either banned or opened investigations into daily fantasy sports.

The include Nevada (where DFS is temporary banned until sites apply for a gaming license), New York and Massachusetts (where both Attorneys Generals’ offices have started a dialogue with sites), and Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, and Washington State, which have all totally outlawed DFS.

Overall, it’s a tough time to be in the DFS business. Regulation is murky at best, and it seems that no one really knows what the future holds, whether that be a total DFS ban, increased regulation, or a decision to just classify the industry as gambling.