Several states, including Illinois, have made playing daily fantasy sports illegal. During his State of the State address last month, Governor Jay Nixon called on state lawmakers to regulate and tax the industry.
A Missouri House committee is considering a bill that would legalize gambling on daily fantasy sports. Bill sponsor Scott Fitzpatrick (R-Shell Knob) said he enjoys playing fantasy sports.
“It’s not like going to the casino and slapping down money on the roulette table,” said Fitzpatrick. “You study the players. You look at who they’re playing. You make decisions. I would consider it more like the stock market than going to the casino. For our purposes, we’re talking about considering it a game of skill as opposed to a game of chance.”
Fitzpatrick said he wants Missouri to be proactive.
“Daily fantasy sports is a growing industry. It’s an industry that wasn’t very well-known until the last couple of years,” said Fitzpatrick. “As its popularity has increased across the country, several states have started to question how to deal with that.”
Representative Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) supports the measure.
“While some would say this is putting the cart before the horse, I would say that this is us understanding where we are heading, actually knowing what that looks like, being willing to get in front of it and being willing to lay the ground work,” said Rowden.
Fitzpatrick is considering amendments that would require participants to be at least 18 years old to play and require fantasy sports companies to verify the age of those playing.