To: FSTA members
From: Paul Charchian, FSTA President
Date: February 26, 2016
Wednesday was a historic day for the fantasy sports industry as the state of Virginia became the first legislature to pass a regulatory bill for fantasy sports contests operators. The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Terry McAuliffe.
The bill features many common sense measures that protect fantasy sports players and businesses:
- The minimum age to play is 18.
- Operating funds must be segregated from player prize funds.
- An annual audit is necessary.
- Employees and their families may not play.
- Companies must take steps to ensure the integrity of their data.
- Companies must register with the state.
- The state has the power to investigate violations, and take punitive measures.
The FSTA supports the bill and Virginia's swift action to codify the legality of fantasy sports.
From the FSTA's perspective, the Virginia bill is not perfect as it contains language that requires every company to pay a one-time $50,000 registration fee. The FSTA attempted, unsuccessfully, to have that language removed. Our goal is to pass a small operators provision, similar to what we have done in other states, next year.
The FSTA's goal is to make each state viable to all fantasy sports companies. Please know that the FSTA is working to manage registration fees in all legislation.
It's our hope that the Virginia bill will act as a catalyst and a template (minus the registration fee) for other states.