According to an official statement made by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), daily fantasy sports contest are finally legal in the state. Having been long considered to be a legal gray area in a number of states, the launch of a regulated daily fantasy sports industry in the Keystone state is huge step forward for its statewide gambling expansion plans that officially kicked off after it legalized online gaming in October last year. Pennsylvania is the 19th state to pass laws that are meant to favor the growth of the rapidly growing and evolving fantasy sports industry.
“This roll-out also marks the beginning for Pennsylvania to create new revenue through the taxation of entry fees from players registered in Pennsylvania to participate in fantasy sports contests,” Kevin O’Toole, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said. “Pennsylvania residents that enter fantasy sports contests can know that they are participating in a fair playing environment and assured that each licensed operator meets standards set out in the law and regulated by the Gaming Control Board.”
So far, six fantasy sports sites namely FanDuel Fantasy Draft, DraftKings, Fantasy Football Players Championship, FastPick, Boom Fantasy, and DRAFT are the only ones that are registered to legally offer their services under the state’s new gambling regulations. Fortunately for the customers, the state has chosen to go with a seamless transition approach and thus there will be little to no change in the way the sites operate.
“Pennsylvanians who already participate in fantasy sports contests with any of these firms will see no difference in gameplay nor need to re-register. The Gaming Control Board urges, however, that players review the eligibility guidelines on the websites of these fantasy sports contest operators prior to attempting to participate in play,” O’Toole confirmed.
However, like always, there has to be a catch – not that this is always a bad thing. The point of legalizing daily fantasy sports was not just to formalize the games but also to give the state a candid avenue to tap revenue from the industry. The operators will, therefore, be subject to a 15 percent tax on adjusted revenue – the state will channel the tax revenue towards its general fund. Also, players that will still be using any of the sites that are not on the list of registered and regulated ones will be doing so illegally. While the number of registered sites is certainly a small one, the PGCB confirmed that there was a possibility of more operators being brought on board in the near future.