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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2016 10:23 AM
From: Representative George Dunbar
To: All House members
Subject: Fantasy Sports Study Resolution
In the near future, I will be introducing a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission, in conjunction with the PA Gaming Control Board, to conduct a study regarding the ability of the Commonwealth to regulate fantasy sports as a form of gambling.

Currently, the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 provides an exemption for fantasy sports contests that aren’t based on the outcome of a single game or the performance of any one team or player. This federal exemption coupled with the argument that fantasy sports games are skill-based games has led to the creation of an unregulated industry that an estimated 50 million Americans are participating in. Given this dramatic increase in popularity coupled with a recent advertising campaign promising large cash rewards to winning players, questions have been raised regarding the legal status of fantasy sports under federal and state gambling laws. In fact, Massachusetts, Nevada and New York recently have taken the position that fantasy sports are a form of gambling and are attempting regulate the industry to varying degrees.

Current PA law does not address fantasy sports or whether fantasy sports games are or are not forms of gambling. If the Commonwealth were to regulate fantasy sports, legislation must be crafted in such a way that consumer protections are implemented, but such protections do not ultimately prevent responsible adults in the Commonwealth from participating in fantasy sports. Furthermore, current federal gambling laws may limit the regulatory options available to the Commonwealth. Given these factors, I believe it is appropriate to first require the Joint State Government Commission to provide the General Assembly with a study.

Please join me in cosponsoring this resolution.

Introduced as HR663