The Alabama House of Representatives recently passed a bill that not only legalizes daily fantasy sports in the state, but also deems them a game of skill. The measure passed by the narrowest of margins after several hours of debate.
With the passage of the measure in the House, it’s now headed to the Alabama Sentate, where a similarly close vote is expected.
At the heart of the debate in Alabama is the vexing question, “Are daily fantasy sports a game of chance, or a game of skill?”
The vigorous debate even turned a bit personal at one point. According to a report on Legal Sports Report, one Representative used his time on the floor to read off the names of his colleagues who bet on college sports.
In defining daily fantasy sports as a game of skill, the Alabama House of Representatives freed operators from the burdens of onerous gambling regulations. This is the battle that daily fantasy sports’ giants FanDuel and DraftKings are fighting in nearly every US State.
Along with designating daily fantasy sports as a game of skill, the Alabama House also set forth a framework for regulating fantasy games.
Among the highlights of the new regulations is a passage requiring DFS operators with more than 5,000 active players to pay the state a registration fee of $85,000. Smaller operators would only have to pay a $10,000 fee.
All daily fantasy sports operators in the state would be subject to a 6 percent tax on gross revenue.
The bill represents the Alabama Legislature’s second attempt to legalize daily fantasy sports in the state.