Pennsylvania becomes the 16th state to officially regulate daily fantasy sports after passing a comprehensive online gaming package on Thursday.
The Pennsylvania House passed a comprehensive online gambling bill on Thursday that also includes daily fantasy sports. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Tom Wolfe, who is widely expected to sign the bill.
With the bill’s passage, Pennsylvania will become the 16th state to regulate daily fantasy sports. Many other states have chosen not to act on DFS putting it in relatively safe grey area.
Pennsylvania Bill Details
Nearly an afterthought in the online gambling package, the Pennsylvania endorsement of DFS is clearly a big deal for the industry.
The bill not only regulated daily fantasy sports, but also online casinos, online poker and sports betting, if and when it is authorized at a federal level.
Pennsylvania’s large population means that the amount of players that can officially play DFS has increased by nearly 13 million.
The Status of DFS in Pennsylvania
Daily fantasy sports was already offered in Pennsylvania at DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo Daily Fantasy and others. The new bill clarifies the law and sets up a regulatory framework.
The bill really doesn’t change much for players, especially the biggest DFS sites that are already licensed in various states. But it does provide players with an extra bit of peace of mind that the games have not only been officially endorsed by the state but there are more consumer protections (segregated funds for instance) in place.
In addition to consumer protections, regulation will essentially emulate what other states have done with DFS. Operators will now be overseen by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and be required to pay a $50,000 license fee for a period of five years. Operators will also be assessed a tax of 15% on gross revenue
While its possible that these sites could pull out temporarily until they get a license, until you hear otherwise, you can comfortably keep playing on these larger sites like you normally would.
What This Means for the Rest of the U.S.
Over a dozen states have already regulated DFS and many others are working on legislation or are content with the status quo (meaning no urgency for regulation).
There is optimism in the daily fantasy industry as well as the general online gambling world that Pennsylvania’s endorsement of online gambling could be the domino needed to have other states accelerate their own efforts to regulate.
This is especially true for those advocating for online poker and online casinos, which hasn’t had a new state regulate 2013. Time will tell if DFS, which has already been on the fast-track, picks up further steam.