The two leading fantasy football companies are backing an Indiana proposal to regulate the industry.
Representatives of DraftKings and FanDuel told a House committee this week a bill setting standards for daily fantasy sports would ensure players of an honest game -- and prevent legal battles like the one in New York, whose attorney general is trying to shut down the sites as illegal gambling.
DraftKings representative Derek Hein says the company welcomes state regulation setting standards for fantasy sports operators.
“DraftKings is already an industry leader in user safeguards and we would welcome a regulatory environment that holds all paid fantasy sports companies to the high standards we have set for ourselves,” Hein says.
Rep. Alan Morrison's (R-Terre Haute) bill would not only certify the games' legality, but give oversight authority to the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, not the state gaming commission, to underline the argument the games are tests of skill, not chance.
Several Public Policy Committee members -- including some who say they're enthusiastic fantasy football players themselves -- question that distinction.
FanDuel attorney Stephen Martino says there's an element of chance in virtually any game, and says daily fantasy leagues originated specifically to take some of the chance element out of fantasy sports.
“Jamaal Charles gets injured in the first week of the season, one of the premier running backs in the NFL – if you’re in a season-long game, if you lose your top couple draft picks early in the season, your team is out,” Martino says. “Daily fantasy sports allows you to reengineer your team through skill.”
Public Policy Chairman Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) says he may not call the bill for a vote, but says he wanted to start gathering information on the issue, to give legislators a head start in thinking about it.