Regulatory bill launched in the Senate loses traction as a result
It's debatable whether legal counsel for the Georgia Lottery Corporation, Joseph Kim, sought the opinion of state Attorney General Sam Olen on daily fantasy sports because the lottery was considering DFS as a business, or whether it wanted to kill off a potential source of competition… either way, the answer came back this week: in the opinion of the AG, daily fantasy sports constitutes illegal gambling under state law.
The opinion had an immediate impact on Sen. Renee Unterman's Senate Bill 352, a daily fantasy sports regulatory proposal that abruptly lost momentum and fell to the bottom of the Senate calendar.
In his opinion, the AG cited a 1934 case, observing:
"The court decided that whether a game was one of chance did not depend on whether a participant could become more proficient with practice, but on whether the same player could do the exact same thing and still lose — not because of his actions, but because of the action of the machine.
"In daily fantasy sports, a participant whose purported skill level has not changed from one game to the next is just as likely to win one tournament, then lose the next tournament due to the performance of players outside of the participant's control.
"In response to your first question, and based on the above discussion, daily fantasy sports would not be authorized under Georgia law unless the "actual contestant" exclusion raised in your second question is satisfied.
"Your second question is whether daily fantasy sports fall under the "actual contestant" exclusion … That exclusion does not apply to daily fantasy sports. The purpose of the exclusion is to allow athletes competing in the sporting events to be rewarded for their efforts, not for people to receive compensation for betting on the outcome of those events or the performance of a particular athlete.
"For the above reasons, it is my informal advice that daily fantasy sports are not authorized under Georgia law."
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