Ohio

This Page Last Updated: March 19, 2017

The current proposed bill dated 3/16/2017 is very prohibitive for small companies like ours to be able to operate in the state of Ohio because of the high licensing fees, so we need your help to keep leagues like MFL10s legal and accessible in your state.

Link to a copy of the legislation: HB132 to Regulate Fantasy Sports

Bill Sponsors and Contact Info:

The most effective way to contact your representatives is to pick up the phone and CALL them at the numbers listed above! You can also email them or send a fax or write a letter, but a phone call will have the most impact, and that is important if you want to change the outcome of this proposed bill in a meaningful way. See below for ideas and talking points, and click here for more details about contacting your representatives.

Provisions of the bill include:

  • Ensuring players are 18 or older
  • Requiring all fantasy game operators to be licensed by the state, which requires an up front payment of $30,000 and more in subsequent years.
  • Offering introductory on-boarding for new players
  • Prohibiting any contest based on a collegiate or high school sport or athletic event
  • Restricting employees of fantasy sports contest companies from playing
  • Requiring “highly experienced players” to be clearly identified for all users to see
  • Disclosing the number of entries a player may submit to each contest and the number of total entries allowed for each contest
  • Taking measures to protect the privacy and online security of players and their accounts
  • Keeping player funds separate from operating funds, ensuring player money is accessible at all times
  • Requiring a third party audit to be conducted at least every 3 years.

Sec. 3774.02. (on page 12) states that a fantasy operator must be licensed. To become licensed, a company must pay $30,000 initially, and then $30,000 again for a renewal. This fee structure is totally prohibitive for small and medium sized fantasy sports companies such as MyFantasyLeague.com. Our MFL10s leagues don’t even generate $30K of income in Ohio, much less $30K of profit. This type of licensing fee is geared towards large DFS companies like FanDuel and DraftKings that do millions of dollars in business with their daily game offerings. In addition, the third party audit requirement will be expensive and time consuming.

Talking Points:  When you contact your representative, be sure to mention the following issues.

  • First and foremost, the licensing provision is impossible for small and medium size businesses to afford. If this bill is passed, then only the two major DFS companies (FanDuel and DraftKings) will be able to afford the licensing fee. All other companies in the industry would most most likely have to stop operating in Ohio. Is that really what they want for their constituents who have been enjoying fantasy football for many years? It will drive away business and have a negative impact on dozens of fantasy sports companies that currently offer games and contests in Ohio.
  • The third party audit requirement will be expensive and time consuming. If every state requires their own completely independent and commission approved audit, then that means companies like MFL could potentially be subjected to 50 unique audits (one for each regulated state), and that would not be feasible because the extreme time and expense involved. We think it is very fair to require one standard, approved audit for all states.
  • The provision regarding “highly experienced players” does not make sense for season long games and contests.
  • The provision to limit the total entries allowed is also not applicable to season long games and contests. Refer to our Season Long information page for more details on these issues.

Suggestions and Ideas: mention the following solutions for the above issues:

  • Create a small business exemption in the law for companies based on number of customers or entry fees collected in the state.  This strategy was implemented in Colorado and is ideal for the fantasy sports industry when huge DFS companies operate alongside much smaller season long companies.
  • Create a standard audit process that can be shared by all states.
  • Create a carve out or exemption for season long companies where the “experienced players” provision and the “total entries” provision aren’t required or can be clarified.
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