Category Archives: Legislation

NBA Takes a Stand for LGBTQ Community

The National Basketball Association is the first—and only—professional athletic organization to take action against a discriminatory law enacted in North Carolina. This past March, North Carolina held a special session to respond to an antidiscrimination law passed in Charlotte. Charlotte had offered antidiscrimination protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in February. The legislature passed House Bill 2 (HB2), which was signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory. HB2 superseded all local ordinances concerning nondiscrimination and it formally excluded the LGBT community from protection.…

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MMA Officially Legalized in New York State

On Thursday April 14, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo officially made New York the last state to legalize competitive mixed martial arts by signing into law a bill lifting the sport’s ban since the mid-1990s. While news of New York legalizing MMA broke back in March, when the bill was overwhelmingly passed in both the House and the Senate, Governor Cuomo made it official with the stroke of a pen on Thursday. This comes a little more than six months away from a scheduled UFC…

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A Wait-and-See Approach: Federal Prosecutors Waiting to See What States Do With Fantasy Sports

The game of chance versus game of skill debate is nothing new in the realm of the daily fantasy sports industry. But on Friday, April 1, 2016, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Zane Memeger, indicated his office’s intent to see how states resolve the question of whether or not companies like DraftKings or FanDuel are violating anti-gambling laws: From the Department of Justice’s perspective, we’re waiting to see what the states are going to do with fantasy sports, in terms of…

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State Assembly Clears the Way for New York to Join the MMAdness

Following an extensive, multi-year lobbying effort, as well as numerous court battles, the New York State Assembly voted on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, to pass a bill that will make New York State the 50th and final state to legalize professional mixed martial arts (MMA). The bill effectively retools and replaces a prior regulatory scheme in New York, which allowed for professional combative  sports contests to be held in New York that were of one particular discipline, i.e., boxing, wrestling, judo, tae kwon do,…

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FanDuel CEO Calls for Legislative Regulations of Fantasy Sports

On Thursday October 29, 2015, in a letter to website users, FanDuel, Inc. CEO Nigel Eccles called for “formal” government regulation to govern daily fantasy sports (DFS). Eccles’ letter comes following a month-long bombardment of class action lawsuits and negative press coverage against the two DFS industry leaders, FanDuel, Inc. and DraftKings, Inc. The legality of the companies’ business operations has been placed in question; namely, whether DraftKings and FanDuel engaged in insider trading, unfair practices, and illegal gambling operations is at issue. The two…

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State Laws Banning the “Redskins” Nickname Passed in CA Following Federal Proposals

On September 10, 2015, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) threatened to introduce a bill proposing to revoke the NFL’s federal antitrust exemption status for permitting the continued use of the Washington Redskins moniker. Now, the Redskins nickname is being threatened under state laws in California. The “California Racial Mascots Act,” as the new legislation is known, passed in the California state assembly on Thursday September 10, 2015—the same day Norton made statements introducing her new bill proposal. The Act now rests on the desk of…

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Go team! California legislation to require cheerleaders make at least minimum wage

Perhaps the first of its kind in the United States, a bill was sent to the Governor of California earlier this week that would require cheerleaders working for professional sports teams be paid at least minimum wage along with overtime and sick leave. As it stands, the benefits received by a number of cheerleaders actually amount to less than minimum wage. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the author of the legislation, said the following about the proposed change: Everyone who works hard to provide a great game-day…

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Christie and the Horsemen Ask the Third Circuit to Vacate Injunction & Open the Door to Sports Betting in NJ

On Wednesday, January 14, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie filed a brief with the Third Circuit US Court of Appeals, seeking to overturn the district court decision enjoining recent legislation that would open the door to some sports gambling in New Jersey. The 2014 law in question was passed to effectuate a partial repeal of prior New Jersey law that prohibits betting on sports within the state.  The partial repeal would allow casinos and racetracks within the State of New Jersey to facilitate sports betting. …

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Bill Ending Antitrust Exemptions for Pro Sports Leagues Introduced

A bill to end the current permanent antitrust exemptions of the four major professional sports leagues was introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. on December 2. Titled the Sustained Promotion of Responsibility in Team Sports Act (SPORTS), the bill would remove permanent antitrust exemptions for NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA one year from the bill’s enactment and replace it with a reauthorization process every five years.  According to the SPORTS Act, ninety-five days before ending the exemption, Congress would have an up-down vote on a…

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Sports Leagues and NCAA Challenge Christie’s Sports Bill

Four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA (collectively the “leagues”) responded to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s partial repeal of New Jersey’s ban on sports betting. The leagues filed a federal lawsuit on Monday seeking a temporary injunction on sports betting in New Jersey. The state’s first sports bet is scheduled for Sunday at Monmouth Park racetrack, where ten tellers will be taking bets on the NFL. The leagues argue that Governor Christie’s sports betting bill accomplishes “what it unsuccessfully attempted to do…

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