Ohio Joins The Fantasy Sports Bill Fray; Trump’s Solicitor General Appointee Goes Under The Microscope

Written By Steve Ruddock on March 17, 2017 - Last Updated on June 27, 2018
Ohio DFS bill

Ohio became the latest state to toss its hat in the daily fantasy sports ring this week; Mississippi’s governor signed that state’s new DFS bill into law; and Montana introduced new legislation to study paid-entry fantasy sports.

On the sports betting side, President Donald Trump nominated a new US Solicitor General. If confirmed, the nominee will be tasked with filing a brief to the Supreme Court on New Jersey’s sports betting case.

DFS legislation update

After a flurry of legislation, the spigot has slowed to a trickle, as this week Ohio was the only new state to introduce DFS legislation. Ohio’s bill was foreshadowed earlier this year, as Legal Sports Report’s Dustin Gouker noted on Twitter:

Also of note, Montana has a new bill that would study paid-entry fantasy sports contests. The state is already considering legislation that would make small, social fantasy sports contests expressly legal.

The number of states that have introduced legislation seeking to legalize DFS in 2017 stands at 22:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Connecticut
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Hawaii
  7. Illinois
  8. Iowa
  9. Kentucky
  10. Minnesota
  11. Montana
  12. Nebraska
  13. New Jersey
  14. New Hampshire
  15. North Carolina
  16. Ohio
  17. Oregon
  18. Pennsylvania
  19. Rhode Island
  20. Texas
  21. Vermont
  22. Washington

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

Mississippi’s DFS law becomes permanent

There may still be one or two stragglers that emerge, but the focus will now start shifting from the introduction to bills to passing the ones that already exist, as was the case in Mississippi.

Mississippi passed a placeholder DFS bill last year that had a July 2017 sunset date. This year’s bill made it permanent and added some regulatory provisions.

New York releases data on DFS revenue

One of the benefits of regulation is transparency, and thanks to the DFS law passed in New York last year, we’re starting to glimpse behind the curtain of the DFS industry. We’re getting a look at what these companies are generating in terms of revenue.

Over its first five months in New York, DFS operators generated $18.6 million in revenue, of which $2.8 million was paid to the state of New York in taxes.

For a deeper dive into the numbers I recommend this column by Robert DellaFave.

Sports betting legislation update

The number of states that have taken up the cause to repeal PASPA, or pre-committing to legalizing sports betting should federal laws change held steady at eight:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Maryland
  3. Michigan
  4. New Jersey
  5. New York
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. South Carolina
  8. West Virginia

Trump nominates new Solicitor General

There’s nothing new to report on the legislative front for sports betting, but there was an important development this week. Trump nominated Noel Francisco to be the next Solicitor General of the United States, which is a position that will play a critical role in the fight to legalize sports betting in the US.

Earlier this year, when it was deciding if it would hear New Jersey’s sports betting appeal, the Supreme Court chose option three, and decided to ask the solicitor general for an opinion before deciding if it will hear the case.

So what do we know about Francisco’s views on this issue?

The short answer is, not much.

The longer answer is even foggier, as Francisco has tenuous links that can be seen as potentially positive and others that can be viewed as potentially negative when it comes to this specific case.

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