Ohio Officially Legalizes Daily Fantasy Sports

Ohio Legalizes Daily Fantasy Sports

Ohio became the 18th state to officially regulate daily fantasy sports last week when Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the bill that was passed by Ohio lawmakers earlier in the month.

Ohio was previously in a grey area but was accepted by most daily fantasy sports sites. While DFS has officially been regulated in 18 states, contests are generally allowed in around 40 states. Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington do not currently allow the contests.

Ohio joins New York and Pennsylvania as the largest states to regulate DFS thus far. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Commission, nearly 2 million Ohioans participate in daily fantasy sports.

The Path of the Ohio DFS Bill

The meat of the bill that passed last week was written in 2017 and was broadly support by lawmakers. A prior effort in Ohio attempted to define DFS as games of chance, which could have had a far reaching negative impact on the industry.

For the most recent effort to regulate DFS, the Ohio House first passed House Bill 132 in May. The Senate followed that up by making a few revisions to the bill and ultimately passed the legislation by a vote of 25-4.

On December 5th, the Ohio House approved the revised daily fantasy sports bill by a vote of 86-3. The vote was followed by Governor John Kasich’s signature last Friday.

The bill had been supported by the Cleveland Indians, which also has a marketing partnership with DraftKings.

What the Ohio Bill Does

As with any new DFS legislation there are some new rules and regulations that operators will need to abide by in order to offer contests to players in the state. Since DFS site has been regulated in 18 states, many of the rules Ohio mandates are already established policy at some DFS sites.

To operate in the state, a 3-year license could be purchased for $10,000 per year. Operators would also be a charged a 0.26% commercial activity tax.

Ohioans will need to be 18 years of age to play while the bill prohibits DFS sites holding contests on non-professional sports (such as youth and college sports).

The law provides notable customer protections such as requiring the segregating of player funds, establishes rules for experienced players as well as other player protections and safeguards. The law also prohibits families of operators from participating in contents.

Changes Players Can Expect

In short, nothing much changes for Ohio players. Daily fantasy sports was already widely accepted by major DFS sites including DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft and Yahoo.

But having another large state such as Ohio endorse DFS is not only good for residents of the state but as the industry as a whole. Although momentum for the contests continue in a positive direction, full legalization in every state appears to be the best outcome for everybody.