Illinois considers move to legalise DFS

Onli

illinois
ne Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) betting could become a reality for the state of Illinois following the introduction of a new bill.

The Illinois General Assembly will consider the new bill which is intended to formalise the legal status of DFS following a 2015 advisory opinion by Attorney General Lisa Madigan that daily fantasy sports betting was illegal under state gambling law.

According to Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Riverside, this clarification is much needed: “I think Daily Fantasy Sports continues to be operating in a regulatory vacuum,” Zalewski said. “This has been going on for two or three years now where their sites have operated free and clear of regulatory laws or tax rates.”

If passed, the bill would impose a minimum age of 21 on DFS betting, prohibit employees of the fantasy contest providers from playing and would require an annual independent audit to ensure providers are complying with these requirements.

Zalewski considered the legalisation to be a much-needed source of income for the state: “There’s untapped tax revenue that would go into either schools or infrastructure or whatever the legislature deems appropriate, which we’re not taking advantage of right now,” he said. “We’re in a state that’s $14 billion behind in paying its bills.”

The Illinois Gaming Board currently has supervising authority over all Daily Fantasy Sports participation. Caleb Melamed, Legislative Liaison from the body considers the proposed rules difficult to enforce since the activity take place in a contestant’s home. “In a casino, we monitor everything. We have surveillance and a central computer system. This would be an outside computer system, probably located outside of Illinois.”

Zalewski, however, responded in saying that other since states have passed similar legislation and effectively managed the oversight, so could Illinois.

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