Mississippi enacts temporary daily fantasy sports legislation

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators have been boosted after Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant approved legislation that puts temporary legislation in place to allow them to continue activities in the state, at least until July 2017.

Governor Bryant has signed Senate Bill 2541 into law, which differs from the majority of controls in other states in that the regulations it introduces will be repealed on July 1st next year. The rationale behind this move is that more extensive and far-reaching controls for DFS can be developed in the interim.

The bill establishes the Fantasy Contest Task Force to review the paid fantasy sports business model and create Mississippi-specific regulations.

Should no bill be passed in that time, however, it is unclear whether DFS would become illegal in the state again if no new legislation is passed by SB2541’s expiry date.

Mississippi becomes the second US state after Tennessee to pass DFS legislation despite its Attorney General issuing an opinion stating that the game was illegal under current state law. The state's AG wrote in February that he believed fantasy sports to be illegal both on and off the casino floor.

This opinion prompted DraftKings and FanDuel to pull out of the state.

As well as establishing the task force, the bill implements basic consumer protections similar to those in other states.

It prevents employees of DFS operators and their families from entering paid contests, and limits play to those over the age of 18.

Data protection measures are also set out, while player funds must be segregated from operational funds.

While there is no registration fee or tax to be paid under the new framework, operators are required to register with the state, and face fines of up to $10,000 for any violation of the regulations.


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