This blog has been closely following the development of fantasy sports legislation in a number of states, including Iowa and New Jersey. As many of our readers are aware, the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which has caused uncertainty for those in the online poker industry, has an exemption for fantasy sports. Congress reasoned that fantasy sports gaming is based more upon skill than chance and, therefore, included a carve out for the industry. Please note that the individual states are free to enact more restrictive laws if they deem necessary. In Arizona for example, fantasy sports gaming is illegal. In fact, The Fantasy Sports Trade Association has stated that anyone that has an Arizona ZIP code is automatically barred from collecting money, T-shirts, posters or any other prizes, even if they entered the league without any entry fee.
Arizona Fantasy Sports Bill
As we wrote about in February, a bill sponsored by Senate Majority Whip, Adam Driggs (R-Phoenix), was introduced to the Arizona State Senate. The bill, Arizona Senate Bill 1468, sought to legalize and regulate fantasy sports gaming within the State. According to the Bill, Arizona fantasy sports participants would be allowed to collect their fantasy sports winnings, so long as the value of the prizes and awards are determined at a set value in advance. Also, like UIGEA, the Arizona fantasy sports bill does not allow participants to collect fantasy sports prizes based upon a single sporting event or the final score or outcome of a sporting event.
Bad News For Arizona Fantasy Sports
Unfortunately, the bill faced early opposition from Native American gaming proponents who felt that the Bill might threaten their tribal gaming compacts. The Bill was put to a vote last week and was voted down by the Arizona Senate. Rep. Driggs has confirmed that the issue is dead for the current legislative season. However, he expressed the desire to pursue the matter further and possibly reintroduce a similar fantasy sports bill in the future.
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The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.