Lots of Talk, But No Action Yet on Regulating Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports leagues were in the spotlight Monday as the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts committee took testimony from industry stakeholders as well as those who think the leagues need to be regulated.
There was no action taken on any legislation. The panel’s chairman said after speaking with people from Gov. Chris Christie’s office it was decided nothing would be done until an appeals court hears a case in April to determine if the leagues are in fact a form of gambling.
“In some states they believe it shutting it down,” said Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Belleville), chairman of the committee. “In other states they believe in regulating it. We’re not coming to any conclusions about the situation at this point.”
The assemblyman said it’s very hard to understand how daily fantasy sports isn’t considered gambling, but that’s a question for federal law. Caputo felt lawmakers in New Jersey have to be concerned about the leagues being unregulated, especially when there are questions about the integrity of the corporations running them.
“It’s still in flux in terms of whether this is gaming or a game of skill. We need to determine how do we protect the public and have a game of integrity,” Caputo explained. “We do know the State of New Jersey is not at this point getting any tax revenue out of this industry.”
The daily fantasy leagues absolutely could be regulated by the government said Greg Bordelon who specializes in constitutional law as a professor at Monmouth University. There was a concern that if the leagues are determined by the courts to be gambling, regulation wouldn’t be enough. A constitutional amendment could be needed because it would mean gambling outside out of Atlantic City.
The leagues are not gambling insisted Jeremy Kudon, an attorney with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. He testified on behalf of Draft Kings, Fan Duel and the Fantasy Sports Trade Assoc.
“It’s a form of entertainment, entertainment not gambling that gives them a deeper appreciation for the sports that they love,” said Kudon. “Winning and losing doesn’t come down to spin of the wheel, the roll of the dice or the turn of the card. In other words, chance is not a material element.”
Winning or losing comes down the amount of time, research and experience a player has and that’s known as skill Kudon said.
Kevin McArdle has covered the State House for New Jersey 101.5 news since 2002. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @kevinmcardle1.