Senate committee passes bill to legalize fantasy sports betting

Senate committee passes bill to legalize fantasy sports betting

MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - A senate committee has passed a bill that would make fantasy sports betting legal in Mississippi.

Senator Sean Tindell, R-Gulfport, penned Senate Bill 2541. If passed, it would create the Fantasy Contest Act. The legislation would require fantasy sports operators to register with the state and meet certain requirements, such as contracting a third party to perform an independent audit every year.

The company's initial registration would include a $100,000 surety bond, followed by an annual registration fee of $30,000 or 5 percent of the total entry fees collected less what is paid to participants; whichever is greater.

In January, Attorney General Jim Hood said sports fantasy betting is illegal under state law. Hood joined top legal experts in many states, including New York, making moves to shut down fantasy sports leagues in their states.

DraftKings Director of Public Affairs Griffin Finan issued the following statement about the framework for fantasy sports betting:

"The overwhelming passage of this bill out of the Senate is exciting news and an important step in our legislative efforts. The vote confirms what experts, fans, and many policymakers are saying in state after state: that fantasy sports are games of skill. We are grateful to Senator Tindell for his tireless support and are looking forward to further engagement with Mississippi legislators to ensure that our loyal fans in the state can continue to enjoy the games they love."

If the bill is passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the governor, it would become effective July 1.

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