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Fantasy Sports Industry Concerned Over Steep Virginia Licensing Fee

by | Mar 8, 2016 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

As Gambling911.com noted last week, the Fantasy Sports sector has expressed deep concern over a $50,000 licensing fee that few of the companies in the sector can afford.

While the Fantasy Sports Trade Association promises to try and get this fee reduced, some have speculated that the FSTA is working against their best interests, especially the season long sites.

“They are doing stuff underhanded,” one seasonal league representative, who wished to remain anonymous, told Gambling911.com, citing an example that could force him and similar companies out of states like Virginia.

“There is a bill on the verge of passing in Virginia where the Daily Fantasy Sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel would be required to pay $50,000 yearly,” this individual shared with G911.  “The FSTA turned its back on season long fantasy sports companies.  They were supposed to include language that would have exempt season long businesses from the Virginia bill.  That language was not included.  We and most season long fantasy sports companies will be unable to pay that type of money and will have to pull out of Virginia.”

Even the mid-sized DFS sites like Star Fantasy Leagues have said they will be pulling out of Virginia.

The FSTA sent out the following email to its disappointed members:

Today, the Governor of Virginia signed into law the “Fantasy Contests Act” which establishes a legal framework for fantasy sports operating in the state. Indiana’s legislature has also passed a bill which is expected to be signed by Governor Mike Pence.

Both cases represent an important step in the ongoing process of creating legal clarity for fantasy sports, a goal we all share.

However, both states have an onerous mandatory regulation fee that makes both states untenable for the majority of the FSTA’s members. We are deeply concerned that these states have made it impossible for so many of our member companies to do business. The FSTA will work toward improving those bills as quickly as possible.

At this time, the majority of the bills introduced in other states have fees that should allow our contest operators to remain viable in those states. The FSTA will remain vigilant to ensure that state lawmakers understand the ramifications of high registration fees.

– Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com