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Regulation of Daily Fantasy Sports in Illinois Coming

Daily Fantasy Sports in Illinois

A bill that would regulate daily fantasy sports in Illinois has moved to the full chamber for consideration. 

The Illinois House gave its approval to an updated daily fantasy sports bill, which would provide a clear framework for the games’ taxation and regulation. Now, the bill moves to the full chamber for consideration. HB 4323 would establish “requirements for policies and procedures for the operation” of paid daily fantasy sports in Illinois. Most importantly, the bill would overwrite Illinois gambling laws, so that participants in fantasy contests would not be convicted of gambling.

The framework for the operation of paid Daily Fantasy Sports in Illinois

The bill would set up the following important requirements: 

  • Players must be at least 21 to participate in fantasy contests
  • Illinois residents will be allowed for one account at the daily fantasy sports sites. There would be two player categories: beginners and experienced players
  • It would set up a deposit limit of USD 3,000 quarterly
  • The application fee would be between USD 500-25,000 depending on the operator’s revenue
  • A two-year license might cost as much as USD 50,000 
  • Based on their revenues, operators would need to pay 5-22% tax on their annual revenues 

US gambling news report that all the major daily fantasy sports companies are in support of the bill. According to their data, there are more than 2 million active daily fantasy sports players in Illinois. With such high number of players, Illinois is the third largest market for daily fantasy sports sites. If the bill fails, “fantasy sports as we know it would not be able to continue in Illinois,” commented Peter Schoenke of the Fantasy Trade Association. 

In December 2015, attorney general, Lisa Madigan, released her official opinion on the legality of daily fantasy sports in Illinois. The opinion stated that the “contests constitute illegal gambling under Illinois law.” The attorney general’s office issued letters to both DraftKings and FanDueal, excepting both companies to “amend their Terms of Use to include Illinois as an additional state whose residents are not eligible to participate in contests,” but only until a bill exempts the games from Illinois gambling laws.

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