Indiana Bill to Legalize Daily Fantasy Sports Passes in State Senate

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A bill to expressly legalize daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Indiana was passed by the state Senate on February 3, 2016. The bill was passed with ease, and it will now move before the Indiana House of Representatives, where it must survive another voting round before becoming official law.

The Indiana bill follows an alleged September 2015 insider trading scandal between DFS industry leaders DraftKings, Inc. and FanDuel, Inc. The scandal sparked a national debate questioning the legality of online DFS betting.

Under the definitions of “unlawful gambling” within current state statutes, DFS is arguably illegal; many states hold as unlawful gambling any activity in which chance outweighs the skill employed by the bettor. However, many states, such as Indiana, are considering the creation of legislation that expressly permits DFS wagering. The DFS industry is a multi-billion dollar market, after all.

State legislators proposing to legalize DFS do not wish to do so without implementing regulations. The Indiana Senate bill, for example, will prohibit DFS contests based on the results of college sports games.

If passed, the Indiana bill is slated to be put into effect on July 1, 2016 — ahead of the 2016 NFL season.

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