Professional Sports Unions Blast Illinois Workers’ Compensation Proposal

As discussed previously on the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider last month, Illinois has introduced a Senate Bill to limit the age that an injured Illinois professional athlete can collect workers’ compensation benefits to the age of 35. Since that time, professional sports unions have come out strongly in opposition to the measure, including the National Football League’s Player Association (NFLPA) and the Major League Soccer Player’s Union. The NFLPA, after previously warning that the proposed measure could result in free agents being cautioned against…
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St. Louis Soccer Stadium Proposal Stays Alive but Faces Uphill Battle to Make Ballot

After it looked like the St. Louis soccer stadium proposal for an MLS franchise was dead, a last-ditch effort has revived the proposed legislation. On January 26, 2017, the MLS bill was voted down by the Aldermanic Ways and Means Committee 6-2. After the vote, the parties quickly negotiated to amend the bill and bout an hour later, the parties presented the amended bill. The new proposal was slightly different: The main change included an amount of $12.5-$17 million dollars in projected revenue be…
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Illinois Senate Proposal to Limit Workers’ Compensation Benefits to 35 Years of Age

A recent Illinois legislative proposal in Senate Bill 12 threatens to reduce the ability of professional athletes in the state to collect long-term workers’ compensation benefits. Under Illinois law, permanently injured workers are able to collect workers’ compensation benefits until age 67. SB 12, which is part of an overall state budget package, contains a provision which would define a covered professional athlete as someone who plays for a professional sports team in Illinois and “derives the majority of his or incoming from playing athletics.”…
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Maryland Adopts Daily Fantasy Sports Regulations

Maryland’s fashionably late adoption of daily fantasy sports regulations went into effect on January 2, 2017, providing several consumer safeguards  in the industry. State regulations surrounding the industry came flooding in after fantasy sport kingpins DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. faced a number of class action suits in 2015. Maryland’s regulations appear much less restrictive than most, however, in that they do not require operators to shell out a high registration fee (Virginia requires a whopping $50,000), and they set its minimum age at 18…
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No Repeal of North Carolina HB2

As discussed earlier this week, the North Carolina General Assembly convened for a special session on December 21 to reconsider and possibly repeal HB2. In a prior statement, Governor-elect Roy Cooper opined that a complete repeal of the bill “will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state.” However, following political posturing by proponents and opponents of the bill, the parties were unable to come to mutually agreeable terms regarding…
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North Carolina’s Bathroom Law is Changing the Fate of Sporting Events

In March, the North Carolina Legislature took a debatable position on modern gender controversies and passed a law that invalidated an anti-discrimination ordinance. The ordinance was intended to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals; however, the North Carolina Legislature prevented these protections from ever being enforced. North Carolina’s law, which has become known as the “bathroom law,” requires that individuals use public bathrooms that match the gender stated on their birth certificates. Since its creation, the bathroom law has created quite the uproar in…
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The IRS Takes Gold in Rio

America’s Olympic Medalists in Rio will return to an unpleasant reality: a tax bill. Each medalist will be taxed on their award from the U.S. Olympic Committee and the monetary value of the medal itself. The U.S. Olympic Committee awards cash prizes to medal winners in the following amounts: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. According the IRS, all cash prizes and awards are taxed as income earned abroad. The awards are treated the same as a lottery payout or casino…
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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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