(TRENTON) – A bill sponsored by Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) and John Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem) to officially allow daily fantasy sports games in New Jersey to better protect consumers was released Monday by an Assembly panel.
While New Jersey residents currently participate in large-scale commercial fantasy sports activities, it is not expressly authorized and therefore not regulated. Investigation of the fantasy sports industry in other states has revealed questionable behavior by some fantasy sports operators, enabled by lack of regulation. This bill would provide needed oversight to protect consumers.
“The fantasy sports industry is a growing market year after year. The time is right for New Jersey to enter the fold with regulations aimed at providing strong consumer protections for our residents,” said Mazzeo. “This legislation not only protects consumers, but promotes a positive business environment for fantasy sports operators and their thousands of New Jersey customers.”
The bill would regulate large-scale commercial fantasy sports activities, defined as fantasy or simulated activities or contests with an entry fee in which a participant owns or manages an imaginary team and competes against other participants or a target score for a predetermined prize. The bill does not limit small-scale season long fantasy sports activities conducted amongst family and friends.
“This bill puts important consumer protections in place that are currently missing in the fantasy sports industry,” said Caputo. “This helps keep the games honest and consumers protected.”
“The lack of oversight in the industry enabled practices that were unfair to consumers,” said Burzichelli. “This ensures that people can enjoy fantasy sports without being taken advantage of.”
The bill (A-3532) would allow the Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) in the Department of Law and Public Safety to issue permits to fantasy sports operator applicants, as well as casino licensees and licensed racetracks that partner with fantasy sports providers.
The bill would impose a quarterly operations fee for all daily fantasy sports providers in an amount equal to 10.5 percent of fantasy sports gross revenue.
The bill would prohibit certain participants, such as individuals under the age of 18 and those with financial interests in the fantasy sports industry, and it would impose fines on actions that would tamper with the fantasy sports operations or affect the outcome of the activities.
The bill would take effect on the 90th day after enactment, except that the DCA may take any anticipatory actions in advance as shall be necessary for implementation of this act.
The bill was released by the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee.