PLEASE NOTE: This is for MFL10s ONLY! The new laws have no impact on the commissioner software used to host private leagues.
The state of Virginia has passed a new law that becomes effective as of July 1st, 2016. Unfortunately, this new law makes it impossible for us to offer our MFL10s Leagues to participants from the state of Virginia for the remainder of the 2016 football season. Therefore, we have updated our Terms of Service so that residents of VA can no longer join MFL10s leagues after this Friday when the new law goes into effect. Any leagues that VA residents have already joined prior to the effective date of the new law will still be eligible for prizes. Note that this new development only applies to residents of the state of Virginia. All other users will be able to continue playing MFL10s the same as before. And VA residents can still use our commissioner league service as always.
This is certainly a frustrating development for fantasy sports enthusiasts in the state of Virginia, but it is also a major burden for the entire fantasy sports industry — especially for season-long contest operators and companies like ours that want to offer leagues with entry fees and cash prizes, such as the MFL10s. As part of the efforts to regulate these types of leagues and contests, the new law in VA contains some very onerous fees and requirements, which effectively forces us out of the market for customers in VA. For example, the licensing fee is $50,000 for any fantasy sports company that wants to operate in the state of VA. Needless to say, we are not able to comply with that type of fee and still be able to stay in business, so we are forced to shut down our operation of MFL10s in the state of VA as part of this new legislation. Virginia is not the only state that will be effected by new laws in the near future. Other states with recently updated legislation include: New York, Indiana, Colorado, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Missouri. In addition, other states like California are contemplating new legislation in the near future.
For those that aren’t familiar with the legal landscape of the fantasy sports industry, we will post more information here so you can stay informed, and so you can let your state government officials know that they are making a mistake by forcing many small businesses out of their state. In the meantime, if you want more information about all of the recent legal developments in fantasy sports, be sure to check out these two web sites:
- SBFSTA.org, which is a recently formed trade association that is fighting to keep fantasy sports legal and affordable in all states.
- Legal Sports Report, which is a news site dedicated to this type of information. In particular, this article that was published back in March has the details about the bill (although it wasn’t clear until very recently that the new law would take effect so soon).