A bill which would legalize daily fantasy sports (DFS) betting websites in the state of Minnesota as games of skill rather than as a form of gambling surprisingly failed to pass in the House yesterday, by vote of 48 to 74. One half of the 74 votes against the bill came from members of the Republican Party and the other half came from Democrats. As far as the ones who backed the bill are concerned, 37 of the bill’s supporters were Republicans, while 11 were members of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
Over the past few years, daily fantasy sports gambling has become one of the most popular and affluent forms of online betting activities, allowing customers to place their bets on real-money games. If the bill in question had been approved, it would have permitted DFS in the state of Minnesota, making such daily fantasy sports gambling websites subjected to certain regulations, including registration fees and monetary penalties in case of a violation.
However, the Minnesota DFS bill faced some opponents, who claimed that daily fantasy sports betting is just another form of gambling and the proposed piece of legislation’s approval would only back an industry that could harm regular players. As mentioned about, local House members voted 48 to 74 and the bill failed only a couple of years after a similar version of the piece of legislation passed the House Floor only to be shelved in the state Senate.
Insufficient Regulatory Structure Blamed for the Failure
The bill’s sponsor, Representative Tony Albright, commented on the matter, saying that the bill was aimed at taking care of the constantly increasing number of DFS players in Minnesota. Mr. Albright further explained that the proposed piece of legislation was supposed to set up a regulatory framework that would have provided operators with the chance to operate fantasy games on the territory of the state and would have prevented irresponsible operators from hurting both customers and competition.
Daily fantasy sports have been among the hottest trends seen in the US gambling industry over the past few years. On one hand, some states have put such pieces of legislation have been put under harsh criticism lately and even some lawsuits were started on the matter, but on the other hand, many states have already successfully secured DFS bills similar to the one sought by fantasy sports proponents in Minnesota.
Representative Jim Davnie commented that the regulatory structure of the proposed DFS bill was insufficient. According to him, gambling industry was innately associated with corruption and fraud, so providing sufficient protection to local customers who might choose to bet on DFS was a matter of paramount priority. Mr. Davnie, however, explained that the piece of legislation which failed on House Floor of the state provided insufficient regulatory structure to meet this priority.
The sponsor of the bill, on the other hand, explained that the piece of legislation would have suspended activities that would have provided DFS operators or other third parties with access to personal and confidential information about customers, which could have harmed the latter in any way. Mr. Albright also rejected accusations that the bill sought an expansion of Minnesota’s gambling market.