Ohio lawmakers want to start regulating fantasy sports leagues

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio lawmakers want to start regulating fantasy sports leagues.

With a goal of protecting consumers and introducing standards, new legislation would require all fantasy game operators be licensed by the state and all players would have to be at least 18 years of age. It would also prohibit any contest based on college or high school sports.

Lawmakers also want to put more transparency in how the industry operates.

House Bill 132, introduced by State Representatives Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) and Robert McColley (R-Napolean), was written with advice from Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, the Ohio Casino Control Commission and stakeholders from the fantasy sports industry.

“Each day countless Ohioans participate in daily fantasy sports,” Dever said, “House Bill 132 assures that these participants are protected under the law, while increasing the accountability of fantasy sports operators.”

10 other states have passed similar legislation.

“House bill 132 seeks to clarify the legality of daily fantasy sports and ensure Ohioan’s are able to continue enjoying them,” McColley said.

The bill defines a “fantasy sports contest” by using the guidelines already defined in federal law, which specifically states fantasy sport are legal contests of skill. This would remove any doubt about the legality of fantasy sports in Ohio. It also installs light-touch consumer protection regulations that all companies operating fantasy sports contest in Ohio must follow, utilizing rules established and enforced by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

The bill now awaits assignment to a House committee, as well as further testimony.

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