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Advancing Bill Would Legalize, Regulate Fantasy Sports

A Senate panel Wednesday unanimously approved legislation legalizing and regulating daily fantasy sports, such as Fan Duel and DraftKings.

The bill would codify that daily fantasy is not gambling, and would impose some insider information protections, barring daily fantasy employees and their families from playing.  It also bars professional athletes and officials from playing.  The measure says game operators must ensure their players are at least 18 years of age and must charge an entry fee to play.

A key argument in this discussion is whether fantasy sports should be considered a game of chance or skill.

“Chance plays a very small part in fantasy sports because the game is designed to be determined by skill – skill in picking the statistically best eight or nine players," says Fan Duel Attorney Scott Ward, adding that fantasy sports is the new national pastime with more than one million Hoosiers participating.

“We can call it not gambling but it really is gambling," says Jerry Long, Executive Director of the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling.

Long says the state needs to ensure it provides enough resources to help those struggling with gambling addiction.  Those funds are largely provided by gaming taxes – which the bill does not impose on daily fantasy sports.

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