Illinois lawmaker proposes daily fantasy sports regulations

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CHICAGO  — An Illinois legislator has introduced plans to regulate daily fantasy sports websites and add consumer protections.

The proposal filed Tuesday says using sites like DraftKings won’t be considered gambling in Illinois, but companies need policies for audits and barring employees from competing. Rep. Mike Zalewski’s legislation also prohibits players under 18 and allows sites to check players for child support or tax liens.

Illinois Gaming Board spokesman Gene O’Shea wouldn’t comment on the legislation, saying such sites are under review. He’s said the board would seek a legal opinion on whether they violate state law.

The coming legislation is aimed at protecting consumers from draining their bank accounts and is said to be the first of its kind in the nation.

Daily fantasy sports has exploded in recent years in the form of the two industry leaders Draft Kings and Fan Duel. Both companies have been under fire after a DraftKings employee won $350,000 in a FanDuel contest. Both companies soon banned employees from playing on other fantasy sites, but DraftKings announced that an internal investigation and a third-party investigation found that no internal insider information gave that employee an edge.

Earlier in the month, DraftKings and FanDuel, barred from operating in five states, pulled out of Nevada after the Nevada Gaming Control Board put daily fantasy games on par with betting and the companies therefore couldn't operate in the state without a license.

But that doesn't mean their popularity is waning. Just several days ago, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is all in investing lots of his own money in DraftKings.

State Senator Kwame Raoul is a co-sponsor and believes the issue wont advance in the legislature  until next spring

“We are the first state in the nation to attempt to address this,” he said.  “It's a good beginning point.”

Zalewski says he’ll push plans when the budget stalemate ends.

The Illinois Gaming Board plans to seek a legal opinion from State Attorney General Lisa Madigan on whether daily fantasy sports are illegal.