Before ending the 2016 legislative session on Friday, Missouri lawmakers sent Gov. Jay Nixon a proposed framework for allowing fantasy companies to operate legally in the state. But now the plan is under attack by smaller companies who say it favors the two behemoths of the industry: FanDuel and DraftKings.
Under the plan, fantasy sports websites would pay an annual registration fee of $10,000 or 10 percent of entry fees, as well as an annual administration fee of 11.5 percent of revenue. It limits daily fantasy sports to those at least 18 years old and would give the state Gaming Commission oversight.
But Alex Kaganovsky, co-founder of the Small Businesses of Fantasy Sports Trade Association, argues that the proposed law would decimate dozens of smaller fantasy sports businesses. He said the legislation didn’t take into account the difference between players who participate in daily fantasy games offered by DraftKings and FanDuel and those who play in season-long leagues.
“We’re talking about several hundred mom-and-pop businesses that serve several thousand players each, not millions of players like the gigantic companies. Season-long fantasy sports is a hobby. The taxes and fees proposed in Missouri are unbearable,” Kaganovsky said.
Regulating fantasy sports has been a hot-button topic in state legislatures across the nation. In his State of the State address in January, Nixon, a Democrat, called on lawmakers to send him legislation that would regulate and tax the industry, with the proceeds going toward schools.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch