Hawaii One Of Seven States That Jumped Into The DFS And Sports Betting Conversation This Week

Written By Steve Ruddock on January 27, 2017 - Last Updated on June 27, 2018

As we prepare to flip the calendar to February, daily fantasy sports and sports betting legislation is picking up even more momentum.

In addition to the expected hotbeds of activity like Illinois and Florida, both topics are also being discussed in some unexpected locales.

DFS legislation update

Six more states introduced daily fantasy sports legislation since last week. Those states are Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

This brings the total number of states with active DFS bills up to 14, and we’re still waiting on bills in Pennsylvania and Ohio:

  1. Connecticut
  2. Florida
  3. Georgia
  4. Hawaii
  5. Illinois
  6. Indiana
  7. Iowa
  8. Mississippi
  9. Missouri
  10. Montana
  11. Nebraska
  12. New Hampshire
  13. Oregon
  14. Washington

Legal Sports Report’s legislative tracker has up-to-the-minute updates on all DFS legislation.

Is it gambling?

It will be interesting to keep an eye on how states classify DFS in these bills. Legislation in some states, such as Illinois, are calling DFS gambling (Pennsylvania is rumored to be considering similar language), while other states are calling DFS a game of skill.

A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, who will play an integral role in crafting Pennsylvania’s forthcoming DFS legislation, told the Pittsburgh City Paper,  “We believe this is a gaming-type product where people wager money and are rewarded based on the outcome of events. Whether it involves skill or luck, regulation should be completed.”

DFS companies and lobbyists were extremely successful in getting legislatures to classify the game as a “game of skill” in 2016 legislation. Whether that trend will hold in states like Pennsylvania – where online casino legislation is also being explored – remains to be seen.

Sports betting legislation update

You can also add Pennsylvania, as well as Hawaii, to the growing list of states that are keeping a careful watch on efforts to legalize sports betting across the United States.

The list of states chiming in on this topic now stands at a half dozen.

  1. Hawaii
  2. Michigan
  3. New Jersey
  4. New York
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. South Carolina

That being said, some states, including the aforementioned Hawaii and Pennsylvania, are taking a more passive approach in the fight for the repeal of PASPA.

The Hawaii bill is merely looking to study the feasibility of sports betting, and the bill being floated in Pennsylvania would authorize sports betting IF federal laws were to change. Essentially, Pennsylvania’s sports betting bill is a preauthorization that would allow Pennsylvania to act quickly if New Jersey wins its case or Congress decides to revisit PASPA.

But New Jersey – which already has legal online casinos – is receiving full-bodied support from some other states.

Michigan is one of the states ready to take a more aggressive tact and follow in New Jersey’s footsteps when it comes to challenging the federal sports betting prohibition that is PASPA.

“I understand the federal law prohibits [sports] gambling, but I am the kind of guy that’s willing to take on the government,” Michigan Representative Robert Kosowski told Legal Sports Report in an interview a week ago. Rep. Kosowski introduced a sports betting bill that directly challenges PASPA in the Michigan House of Representatives last week.

Steve Ruddock Avatar
Written by
Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock is a veteran of the gambling industry, having been a longtime contributor to numerous publications both online and off centered on the regulated US online gambling industry. Steve is based in Massachusetts.

View all posts by Steve Ruddock
Privacy Policy