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Nebraska Amidst Daily Fantasy Sports Legalisation Controversy

- February 1, 2017 By Riley Wilson -

Second chance for Nebraska to regulate daily fantasy sports gambling.

State of Nebraska is considering the regulation of daily fantasy sports (DFS) and this opened a heated debate on the issue.

Providers, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, agreed on the necessity of DFS regulation and pointing out the importance of their clients’ security.

The Bill – or Legislative Bill 469 as it is formally known –  will, if adopted, define DFS as a game of skill, since the State Constitution prohibits betting on certain games of chance (lotteries, pickle cards and horse racing). Many feared the Bill would start an expansion on gambling, but the representatives of DFS providers strongly opposed these claims in their address to the Senate.

Second Chance for DFS Regulation

This is the second attempt to introduce such a measure, since the last year’s initiative didn’t receive the sufficient support from the legislators.

On the other hand, DFS providers are fully backing the Bill which will oblige the companies to pay an annual fee to the Nebraska Dept. of Revenue. But, more importantly, the Bill will prohibit everyone under the age 19 to participate in any DFS wagering activity.

Derek Hein, DraftKings’ spokesman, said the Bill will protect the clients from those operators, he referred to as “unscrupulous“.

Similar bills have already been adopted by eight other states, including Missouri and Colorado, but there are states, such as Iowa, that completely outlawed DFS wagering.

However, the opponents of the Bill, among which the Nebraska Family Alliance is one of the loudest, are emphasizing the fact that 11 states made betting on DFS illegal. They say DFS gambling is simply a cleverly disguised online casino and that the final outcome of the game can be easily manipulated.

“The harms of gambling are serious, even if the mechanism is not.”

At this time, there are 300,000 fantasy sports players in Nebraska, which is less than 1 percent of the total number of DFS players in the US.

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