Fantasy sports bills proposed in Georgia and Alabama

Georgia

Fantasy sports is a topic in both Georgia and Alabama Legislature.  There is a house bill in Georgia that would regulate fantasy sports.  A state senator in Alabama is pushing the legalization of fantasy sports.

Daily fantasy sports websites like DraftKings and Fan Duel are legal in Georgia.  Players pay these websites to enter into daily or weekly tournaments.  The Georgia House voted to approve the first regulations and taxes on the daily online fantasy sports leagues.

Georgia House Bill 118 would impose a six percent tax on the companies that run fantasy sports leagues.  Fred Gordon with Columbus State University’s Political Science Department says this bill could create another source of revenue for the state.

“What I think is going on here with the ambitious plans certainly with future funds to increase for personnel and infrastructure projects throughout the state there needs to be continued to look for ways to secure revenue,” he said.

Gordon says there is a social responsibility related to fantasy sports.

“Online gaming has potentially addictive properties to it so, I think if any type of bill that would pass hopefully that there would be understanding that it’s certainly an educational competitive type of sport, but to put it into that type of perspective as well,” he said.

The debate remains on whether online fantasy sports is either a game of skill or chance, which would fall under gambling.  Alabama State Senator Tom Whatley is working on legalizing fantasy sports leagues in Alabama like Fan Duel and DraftKings.

“I don’t consider this your traditional gambling where you have an opportunity to go sit at a slot machine any time of day or night or play at a table game any time day or night.  This is something that’s only at specific times, specific places,” he said.

The bill will start in the Alabama House.

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