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Missouri and Colorado governors sign daily fantasy sports legislation

The number of US states legalising daily fantasy sports (DFS) continues to grow, with Missouri and Colorado the latest to have bills signed into law.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed H1941 into law Friday, putting DFS under the control of the Missouri Gaming Commission.

The new legislation sets out an annual licensing fee of either $10,000 or 10 per cent of the applicant’s annual net revenue in the state, alongside an 11.5 per cent tax on net revenue.

It also introduces consumer protection measures such as the requirement for operators to segregate player funds from operational funds and to offer players self-exclusion tools.

“When a new frontier of online betting is available at the touch of a screen, we have a responsibility to protect consumers and young people,” Nixon commented. “I appreciate the General Assembly for answering my call to bring forward common-sense consumer protection to make sure fantasy sports gaming in Missouri is operated responsibly and with accountability.”

In Colorado, meanwhile, Governor John Hickenlooper has signed H1404 into law.

Like the Missouri bill, players must be over the age of 18 and their funds must be kept separate to operational funds. They must also be given tools to allow for self-exclusion.

The Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, is given responsibility for overseeing the sector, and will be required to set out licensing and renewal fees.

Operators with less than 7,500 users must only register with the DPO, while larger operators are required to apply for a licence. 

The Colorado legislation has prompted a positive reaction from market leader FanDuel, which described the bill as being “in line with the state’s best governing traditions: smart regulation to protect consumers, but with a light-touch that does not stifle innovation or interfere with access to fantasy sports for the nearly 1m Coloradans who love to play.

“We hope Colorado will be an incubator for the many innovative fantasy sports companies that are sprouting up and growing exponentially, and that the state can become a real home for this emerging sector of the tech industry,” the company said.

“We want to thank the legislature, in particular the bill sponsors Rep. Majority Leader Duran, Sen. Cook, Rep. Wist and Sen. Minority Leader Guzman, for their leadership on this issue, and Governor Hickenlooper for signing the bill into law and protecting fantasy players in the state of Colorado.”

The Colorado bill will come into force on July 1st, while the Missouri legislation does not have a set start date.

With Missouri and Colorado joining Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana and Michigan in legalising DFS, New York and Pennsylvania are making efforts to follow. In New York legislation has just three days to pass by June 16th, the end of the State legislative session.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is about to start the legislative process after Representative George Dunbar introducedHB2150 last week.

Dunbar's bill sets a 5 per cent tax on quarterly adjusted revenue and imposes a licence fee of $50,000 or 7.5 per cent of the applicant’s adjusted revenue. It has been referred to the House Gaming Oversight Committee for consideration.

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