Lawmakers consider fantasy sports regulations, but sites could generate millions for the state

A Missouri House committee is weighing a bill that would exempt daily fantasy sports sites from the state’s legal definition of gambling, after Gov. Jay Nixon sharply criticized and called for regulations for the sites in his State of the State Address last month.

The bill, HB 1941, is sponsored by Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob. Fitzpatrick argues that fantasy sports involve skill and are not a game of chance, comparing it as “more similar to the stock market…than going to the casino.”

In testimony before a House committee Wednesday, Fitzpatrick said the more than 900,000 fantasy players in Missouri could contribute “several million” dollars to state coffers under his plan. Players, he said, would pay taxes on their winnings, while fantasy sports operators would have to pay a $5,000 fee to register with the state.

Several witnesses testified in favor of the bill, including Derek Hein, a DraftKings representative, who said the company “would welcome a regulatory environment.”

The measure was discussed Wednesday but won’t be voted on until next week.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Public Radio

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