Mississippi legislators last month passed a new bill that will allow Daily Fantasy Sports companies like FanDuel and DraftKings to operate freely in the state without needing a licence.
Governor Phil Bryant finally signed SB 2541 – originally titled the ‘Fantasy Contests Act’ – last month after a lengthy tug of war between the Senate and the House of Representatives that saw the legislation briefly changed beyond all recognition.
SB 2541 was passed by the Senate in March, but was subsequently amended by the House to exclude all reference to Daily Fantasy Sports and certain aspects of the regulatory language, with a further amendment authorising a lottery in the state.
After the re-worked bill passed the House, a special committee was set up consisting of three senators and three representatives with the sole aim of restoring the legislation to its original purpose. The committee removed passages about the lottery and reinstated regulations on DFS, and the bill successfully passed both the Senate and the House.
Smaller DFS firms are likely to welcome the new Act, which removes the requirement for companies to apply for costly licences to operate in the state. The original Senate bill would have instituted an annual licensing fee of either $30k or five percent of site entry fees – whichever was greatest.
The bill also establishes a Fantasy Content Taskforce, which will be in charge of reviewing contests and operators and recommending appropriate regulatory measures. It also specifies that players must be over 18, DFS employees and their immediate families are excluded from playing and player protections such as self-exclusion measures should be put in place.