Minnesotans love fantasy sports. More than 1 million people participate each year, making the state a so-called “hotbed” of gamers, but there is ambiguity in state law on whether these are legal.
Rep. Tim Sanders (R-Blaine) sponsors HF2540 that would codify the experience in state statute and provide a definition for fantasy sports with an entry fee, noting that it is not a lottery or other form of betting.
The House passed the bill 100-28 Monday. It now moves to the Senate where Senate President Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) is the sponsor.
“The purpose of the bill is to take something that is so important to many Minnesotans — daily weekly, seasonal fantasy sports — and to codify it in statute that it is legal, that it is fun and helps build community,” Sanders said in a press conference earlier in the day.
According to the nonpartisan House Research Department, fantasy sports is a game where a participant selects a virtual team of real-world athletes, which then competes against other virtual teams in a variety of contest formats.
Sanders said the consumer of fantasy sports will not be impacted in their game-play but operators will face stricter regulations.
“This is probably one of the strongest bills in the country when it comes to fantasy sports consumer protections,” he said.
The bill, as successfully amended by Sanders on the House Floor, would provide 16 consumer protections. Among them, the operator must implement reasonable procedures to:
Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) successfully added an amendment that would require a game operator to have an independent audit with the results submitted to the commissioner of public safety by March 15 of each year.