The Alabama House has spoken: fantasy sports is a battle of wits and smarts.
Birmingham Business Journal reported that the Alabama House of Representatives has approved a bill that will legalize and regulate fantasy sports betting in the state in a close vote.
Voting 43-38, the House declared that fantasy sports is not dolled-up digital gambling that deserves to be banned. Instead, they recognized that fantasy sport is a game of skills deserved to be played in the state. With the House approval, the bill now moves on to the Senate.
There are at least three bills that have been introduced in Alabama including HB354 aka the Fantasy Sports Act.
The proposed legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Alan Boothe, would require a fantasy sports operator with more than 5,000 active player accounts to pay an initial registration fee of $85,000, while an operator with fewer than 5,000 active participants would pay an initial $10,000.
A fantasy contest that has not previously operated in Alabama would pay a $5,000 fee.
The measure also said that the taxes to be imposed on fantasy sports operators’ gross revenues is similar to that in Tennessee and the one that has been proposed in Georgia.
House members are reportedly eyeing to impose at least 6 percent tax on fantasy sports revenues for the preceding 12 months. They project that an additional $216,000 will flow through the state’s General Fund if fantasy sports is legalized in the state.
However, it took the members of the House nearly two hours to narrowly pass the bill. According to the report, legislators debated one whether daily fantasy games were primarily skill- or luck-based.
There are at least 11 US states that have legalized DFS at present: Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, and, most recently, Arkansas.
But as the legal battle for the legalization of DFS across the United States wages on, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association lamented that more than two-thirds of fantasy sports firms have closed, merged or changed focus.