Connecticut Legalizes DFS

The Connecticut legislature has passed a bill signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy (l.) that makes daily fantasy sports legal and also adopted a legal definition for gambling that doesn’t include DFS. Even so, the state’s two gaming tribes still need to sign on.

The Connecticut legislature, in bipartisan action, has approved and Governor Dannel P. Malloy has signed a budget bill that includes a provision that legalizes daily fantasy sports (DFS.) However, approval by the state’s two gaming tribes is required to prevent this from violating the state tribal gaming compact.

Several months ago, Attorney General George Jepsen gave as his opinion that “any legislation authorizing daily fantasy sports contests must be viewed against the backdrop of the existing agreement between the State and the Tribes.”

The bill includes language requiring that no one under 18 may play DFS. It puts regulation of DFS under the Commissioner of Consumer Protection and requires an annual registration fee of $15,000 or 10 percent of revenue. In addition, DFS providers must pay a 10.5 percent tax on any revenue created from Connecticut players.

One important concession to DFS providers was that the bill excludes DFS from the definition of “gambling” and excludes DFS equipment from the definition of “gambling device.”

It took lawmakers several tries before they were able to agree on language.

Neighboring Pennsylvania recently took a similar action, approving a bill that was also part of an omnibus budgetary bill.