Three different approaches
Making bets on daily fantasy sports is regarded as illegal in the state of Washington, but three lawmakers are working to liberalise the strict laws that could affect over a million players in the state.
Sen. Pam Roach is concerned that harmless "water cooler fantasy-football" leagues – widespread in offices and factories – could make punters into criminals under state law, and in any case enforcement is at the very least difficult.
Roach has proposed a bill to allow participation in season-long fantasy leagues where no more than 50 people pay no more than $50 to play, classifying these as skill games and therefore not gambling. There appears to be no room for daily fantasy sports in her measure.
Another Washington lawmaker, Representative Chris Hurst, has launched HB2370 in the state House, similarly proposing that season-long fantasy games as envisaged in the carve-out from the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act be permitted, but that all other forms be defined as illegal. He also wants the advertising of fantasy sports banned and infractions regarded as a serious class C felony. Again there appears to be little room for DFS in his legislation, which is set for consideration in the House Committee on Commerce and Gaming scheduled for tomorrow (Monday).
Taking a more liberal line is Sen. Doug Ericksen, who has introduced Senate Bill 6333, seeking to legalise all fantasy sports games – including DFS – by defining them as games of skill and not gambling.
Predictably, the daily fantasy sports companies and the industry's trade association support and are lobbying for the Ericksen bill.
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