March 15, 2017
A State Senator in Texas recently introduced a new bill that would legalize fantasy sports contests and implement regulations governing their operation. Fantasy sports lawyers understand that stakes for this bill are high as the statehouse meets only every two years, meaning that any unsuccessful efforts at passage would result in legalization prospects within the State being put off until at least 2019.
What are some of the key components of the new Texas proposed fantasy sports bill?
While not envisioning a licensure requirement for operators (which is a significant barrier to entry in other jurisdictions), the proposed fantasy sports bill nevertheless includes a variety of familiar consumer protection requirements that those in the industry have come to recognize in regulatory schemes recently enacted across the country including, but not limited to, the following:
- Prevention of employees and relatives from participating in contests and sharing confidential information with third parties;
- Requirements that operators must verify that participants are at least 18 years of age or older; and
- Prevention of athletes or referees from participating in contests whose outcome is determined in anyway by the performance of such individuals.
Given the size of the Texas market, and the current murky legal status of fantasy sports contests within the State, those who operate in the fantasy sports space would be well-served to heed a watchful eye over the progress of this newly-introduced bill.
Evolution of Fantasy Sports Regulations and the Ongoing Need for a Fantasy Sports Lawyer
Fantasy sports contests and the laws and regulations that govern them, continue to grow and evolve. Between various legislative efforts across the country affecting the industry, conflicting opinions from attorneys general and court challenges to newly-enacted legislation, it is clear that the legal landscape of the fantasy sports space is far from settled. Against this backdrop, it remains imperative to engage a competent fantasy sports lawyer to become/remain compliant with applicable law when setting up and operating fantasy sports contests.