Ohio Lawmaker Tackles Legality of Online Fantasy Sports Gambling

Sep 26, 2016

A Republican lawmaker says the gambling on fantasy sports sites like Fanduel is illegal in Ohio.
Credit FANDUEL

It’s hard to miss commercials from popular fantasy sports sites like Draft Kings and Fan Duel which earn millions of dollars during the baseball and football season.

But a state lawmaker says he wants to make it clear that a lot of what they’re doing is illegal in Ohio. 

Republican Senator Bill Coley of the Cincinnati area says daily fantasy sports sites are essentially gambling pools for profit which are already outlawed in Ohio.

Sen. Bill Coley questions the legality of online fantasy sports gambling.
Credit LIAM NIEMEYER / OPR

Coley has a bill requiring that 100 percent of the money paid into these games must be sent back out to the winners.

But Marc La Vorgna, spokesperson for Fan Duel and Draft Kings, says Coley’s bill would outlaw a big chunk of what they do.

“Other states have recently addressed this issue and have done so in a very clear and effective manner that puts some basic consumer protections around fantasy sports but made it clear that the games are legal.”

The Ohio Attorney General’s office has said in a memo that the laws on pools for profits are unclear when it comes to daily fantasy sports.