October 20, 2015
Last week, reports surfaced that the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R – Utah), is expected to hold hearings on fantasy sports in November. While there has been no official confirmation that such a hearing will take place, the chairpersons of congressional committees have significant power to convene hearings when they want them to be held.
Is Representative Chaffetz alone in his desire to initiate a federal inquiry into fantasy sports?
Representative Chaffetz joins a growing list of Congressmen to call for federal scrutiny of the burgeoning industry. Previously, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Fred Upton (R – Mich.) stated that he believed that his committee would hold a hearing, shortly after receiving a request for same from New Jersey Democrat, Frank Pallone. Additionally, following the allegations of insider trading at DraftKings, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal recently called on the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the daily fantasy sports market.
Fantasy Sports Industry’s News Cycle Continues
Reports of Congress’ intention of holding hearings comes on the heels of a turbulent two-week period that saw the filing of a class action lawsuit in New York, the institution of an investigation by New York’s Attorney General, and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s then endorsement of the industry. As fantasy sports contests, and the laws and regulations that govern them, continue to grow and evolve, it is essential that fantasy sports enterprises keep abreast of the developing legal landscape. Operators should regularly review their respective contest platforms, entry fees and prize structures with knowledgeable counsel in order to effectively navigate this rapidly changing regulatory framework and in order to remain compliant with applicable law.
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