Posts tagged Michigan
An Update on the State of Michigan's Stance on Daily Fantasy Sports

Although a desired solution may be to have nationwide regulations and oversight, if we take one look at our federal legislature in its current state, there is clearly no way they will clarify the law regarding DFS anytime soon. This leaves states in a tricky position because there is still some uncertainty as to how effective or durable state laws on DFS - if and when enacted - will be. State-by-state laws are the settled on short-term solution to the legality of a growing industry's operations. The law needs adequate clarification as soon as possible.

Many states are taking initiative and pushing legislation regarding daily fantasy sports (DFS) hoping to clarify where the industry operates under the law. Virginia led the way as the first state to regulate fantasy sports with its Fantasy Sports Act, requiring DFS operators to (a) enforce a minimum age of 18 to play, (b) register with the designated regulating department, (c) pay a $50,000 registration fee, and (d) take various consumer protection steps such as securing player data and funds as well as preventing operator employees and their immediate family members from playing. Last week, two more states took large steps. Indiana became the second state to regulate fantasy sports with a law that (a) designates fantasy sports as a game of skill, (b) created a division to oversee paid fantasy sports within the state, (c) mandates a $50,000 licensing fee (though that initial fee could increase in the future) followed by a $5,000 renewal fee, and (d) specifically bans fantasy sports contests involving college football and basketball, which makes sense because betting on college sports is illegal under current federal law. Also, Massachusetts has DFS regulations moving through its legislature that is publically supported by DraftKings and FanDuel and hits big on combating the vulnerable with consumer protections like requiring a minimum age of 21 years old to play and instilling "truth in advertising" standards in addition to those akin to Virginia's protections.

For those in my home state of Michigan, we are left to deal with outdated law and a passive movement dragging its heals holding onto weak proposed legislation that will likely never pass. Senate Bill No. 459, which seeks to legalize fantasy sports in Michigan, is a flop.

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Will Your NCAA Tournament Bracket Be Legal in the State of Michigan?

Saying that the NCAA Tournament and bracket pools do not go together is like saying that I-75 and "10mph over the posted speed limit" do not go together. We know it happens. Law enforcement knows it is the norm. We may or may not realize it stretches legal limits. We do it anyway.

The recent hype over the legality of daily fantasy sports is directing a lot of attention toward relevant state and federal law. With respect to Michigan's point of view on the matter, it gets a little risque. I have written on Michigan's stance on daily fantasy sports as of 2015, but making brackets is a different type of simulation that is also forced to live under an outdated rule.

How does Michigan law view your March Madness tourney bracket?

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Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Michigan?

The straight up answer: Technically, no, but hold up (x10) like Kanye says to do.

Next time you watch or listen to any television or radio football broadcast, count how many advertisements you see or hear from daily fantasy sports (DFS) companies like DraftKings or FanDuel. Think about how many people choose to participate in those games each day. Do you think they question the legality of those games, nationwide or specifically in your state of residence? I doubt it. Do you think the DraftKings and FanDuels of the world would subject themselves to business in a state where DFS is illegal? That is easily debatable, but hey, I'm here to highlight what the average person may not observe.

Being picky with semantics when drafting a legislative bill is warranted, and Michigan's law regarding fantasy sports is a prime example of why. One legislator is trying to modify it because apparently the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has a thought-provoking stance on the issue. The MGCB executive director considers playing DFS to be "illegal under current Michigan law." Sen. Curtis Hertel is looking to modify current Michigan law to protect citizens' right to play.

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