Congress Not Ready to Come After Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Yet
While a handful of state commissions and attorney generals have opted to investigation the explosive Daily Fantasy Sports sector following allegations of insider trading and possible violations of state gambling laws, the U.S. Congress has indicated there is little interest in tackling the issue, at least not in the near term.
There are, after all, more pressing priorities.
The chairmen of the two Senate committees that would have jurisdiction on the issue — Sen. John Thune of the Commerce Committee and Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Judiciary Committee — told BuzzFeed News that although they are paying some attention to it, they don’t currently have plans to look into the industry.
“Right now, I don’t have an opinion,” Grassley said. “None of my colleagues have asked me to have hearings. It’s relatively new. I know it’s seven or eight years old, but it’s relatively new in terms of people talking about it politically.”
In 2006, the Congress passed legislation that prohibits most forms of online gambling while specifically exempting fantasy sports. At the time only season long contests existed but supporters of the DFS sector will argue that there is no specifically language making daily or weekly fantasy contests illegal. The concept is essentially the same with only a difference in time frames.
“We’re obviously paying attention to the issue and following some of the reporting,” Thune said. “We’ve had some discussions about it. Obviously, our issue area of involvement would be the consumer protection issue because we have jurisdiction over the Federal Trade Commission. So we’re following it.”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton has said a hearing is “likely” — after ranking member New Jersey Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone became the most vocal critic of the industry — but also said it won’t happen soon. “There’s a lot of things on our front burner right now,” Upton said recently.
- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com