Alabama Legalises Daily Fantasy Sports

Viktor Vangelov | Published 7 Jun 2019, 8:33 a.m.

This Monday we reported on Illinois and its plan to legalise sports betting, and today we bring new more news from America and the plans of various states to legalise sports betting, or more specifically fantasy sports. We briefly mentioned Alabama and the lawmakers’ intention to legalise daily fantasy sports and today we bring you news that this has happened and that the state of Alabama is the next state to legalise DFS.

Three years ago, Alabama started an operation to tackle illegal daily fantasy sports which was prevalent in this state and this was a cause for the two major DFS operators – FanDuel and DraftKings to stop offering their services in Alabama. Following the passing of the bill, we can expect them to re-enter the market. The state, understandably, is going to implement a tax on daily fantasy sports.

There was an attempt to legalise daily fantasy sports in another Southern state, namely North Carolina, but it seems that this is not going to happen as NC lawmakers shot down the bill that would’ve permitted operators to offer DFS in the state.

FanDuel And DraftKings To Re-Enter Alabama

Alabama Governor, Kay Ivey signed the bill two days after the Alabama Senate voted on it. According to the new legal framework, it will be job of the state Attorney General to regulate daily fantasy sports and oversee the work of operators and whether they do business in accordance with the new law. The AG will also control the fiscal side of things, i.e. whether operators are paying their bit as per the law requirements.

Operators that earn more than $10 million at a national level will be required to pay a $85,000 yearly fee, whereas those who earn less than that will only need to pay $1,000 fee. However, all operators will be required to pay 10.5% of their gross revenue in tax, which will be a significant income for the state of Alabama.

According to the new law, daily fantasy sports is a game of skill and as such it is excluded from Alabama’s gambling laws, despite the fact that the AG explicitly stated three years ago that daily fantasy sports operators are violating these laws.

Everyone who’s in favour of daily fantasy sports legalisation in Alabama are particularly happy with the arrangement, especially since there were few unsuccessful attempts to legalise sports betting in the past few years.

Even though FanDuel and DraftKings haven’t given an official date as to when they plan to re-enter the market, it is pretty clear that it is going to happen very soon.

North Carolina House Judiciary Committee Rejects Fantasy Sport Bill

The House Bill 929 has just been rejected by the NC lawmakers, specifically by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill sought to define the activity as something different from gambling, but the NC Lottery Commission would’ve still been in charge of everything, including regulation of the DFS industry. It seems that the rejection had more to do with the wording of the bill than its purpose, since DFS is already a quite popular activity in NC. One of the goals of the proposed bill was to regulate the industry and such and to protect players. Opponents of this bill proposed amendments that were rejected by the sponsor and so a deal wasn’t passed at the end.