Virginia moves closer to regulating fantasy sports

Legislation to regulate fantasy sports contests in the US state of Virginia has been unanimously approved by a House Subcommittee on General Laws and now moves to the Committee on Appropriations for further approval.

The bill, HB775, was introduced last month by Jackson Miller, a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and would create the Fantasy Contests Act to apply to fantasy contests with an entry fee offered in Virginia.

It provides that fantasy sports contest are not illegal gambling, and defines a "fantasy contest" as any fantasy or simulated game or contest in which the value of all prizes and awards offered to winning participants is established and made known to the participants in advance of the contest.

All winning outcomes must reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals, including athletes in the case of sports events.

The bill provides that such contests are not illegal gambling, and requires operators of fantasy contests to register annually with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, with a registration fee of $50,000.

The bill was approved by a vote of 6-0 and now moves to the Committee on Appropriations for further approval.

A companion bill, SB646, was approved by the Senate earlier this week and has been rereferred to the Finance Committee.



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