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Government

Fantasy Sports Bill Passes Senate, But Is Still Far From The End Zone

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David Clow
/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidclow/3876732726

Senate lawmakers have taken steps to regulate daily fantasy sports but chosen chose not to classify the practice as gambling.

A Senate bill passed easily, but the legislation’s path through the House isn’t as secure.

The Senate legislation imposed some regulation on the multi-million dollar industry, including bans on insider information and prohibiting professional athletes and officials from playing. 

The House had a bill to impose essentially the same regulations – but lawmakers opted not to advance it. House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) calls the issue a complex one -- but wonders how much attention it needs to garner.

“This is a big deal to a few people who are really engaged in it,” Pelath says. “Mr. Rasmussen, who lives across the street from me, has no idea what fantasy football is.”

Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says he used to agree with that position -- until he says he learned how widespread fantasy sports has become, with more than a million Hoosiers participating.  But Bosma is coy on whether the industry should pay gambling taxes.

“I mean, if it’s regulated, then it is probably…possibly…it could be…I’m not even going to say it, because somebody will say, ‘Bosma calls for…’

Neither Bosma nor Pelath say they play fantasy sports. 

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