Whatley Files Bill Legalizing Daily Online Fantasy Sports Leagues

By Tom Whatley

Montgomery, AL- Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) has filed legislation in the Alabama State Senate to allow Alabamians to lawfully participate in daily online fantasy sports contests such as those run by DraftKings and FanDuel. Whatley’s proposal would require fantasy sports websites operating in Alabama to register with the Secretary of State’s office and create a fund to collect fees and dues from participating companies.

“Daily online sports contests are a growing form of sports entertainment with over 35 million participants nationwide and have been legalized in nine states already. It is time we clarified the legal status of these companies in Alabama and establish a level playing field for consumers using their services,” Whatley said.

The New York Times has described daily online sports as a growing “subset of the fantasy sports business, in which players compete in daily or weekly tournaments rather than the familiar season-long competitions.”

Whatley’s proposal protects consumers by requiring annual audits of contest operators. “We want to ensure that consumers are protected and that operators are held to the highest standard of accountability,” Whatley remarked.

Currently, nine other states have legalized fantasy contests and sixteen states, including Alabama, are considering such legislation this year.

“I don’t think the state of Alabama should be in the business of restricting people from participating in daily fantasy sports competitions, when Alabamians already enjoy playing in fantasy sports leagues with their friends and family every year,” Whatley continued.

The Alabama Legislature has completed eight of the thirty possible legislative days in the 2017 regular session.

Senator Tom Whatley represents Lee, Russell, and Tallapoosa Counties. He is chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee. Follow him on Twitter: @SenTomWhatley