Michigan bill aims to exempt DFS contests from state penal code

A new bill introduced in Michigan aims to amend the state penal code in order to allow daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests to operate in the state.

House Bill 5849, introduced by Representative Aaron Miller of District 59, looks to add a tenet to the Michigan penal code that simply adds an exemption for DFS contests.

Should it pass into law, the bill adds a new line to Section 310c, a sub-set of Section 750 of the code, which relates directly to gambling.

Currently this section exempts games of skills or chance allowed under the Michigan Exposition and Fairgrounds Act for contests, races, games or other events. It would be amended to ensure the state’s gambling ban does not apply to participation in a fantasy, simulation sports game or educational game or contest.

The only restriction is that the prize pool for such contests must be below US$3,000. There are no further controls placed on DFS contests, such as player and data protection requirements, and it does not set out a tax rate for the games.

Michigan has previously shown little appetite for DFS regulation, with a bill to legalise online gambling seen as more likely to pass. Senator Mike Kowall introduced Senate Bill 889 earlier this year to license internet gaming, although the legislation failed to pass before the end of the state’s legislative session in June.

Miller’s DFS bill has been referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform for further scrutiny.


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