Proposed CO reg revisions would explicitly prohibit fantasy vs. house

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The rulemaking meeting for Colorado regulators to consider expanded fantasy sports regulations is still a few days away but the state has released an updated draft of proposed regulations that more specifically limit what kinds of contests could be available in the state.

In the new regulations, the language around fantasy contests has been updated from a previous draft to more overtly state that fantasy contests must be against other players and not the house:

“Fantasy contests are contests where patrons compete against other patrons. Fantasy contests where patrons compete against fantasy contest providers are prohibited.”

The new revisions also tailored the language about what a fantasy contest specifically entails:

“Fantasy contests must include the following:

A) The selection of a minimum of two athletes or positions, or the utilization of statistics from a minimum of two athletes or positions
B) The outcome of the contests must be based on adding together the fantasy points from at least two athletes or positions”

This latest draft will be the subject of a meeting of the Colorado Division of Gaming on Monday, Oct. 30.

The Division of Gaming has also posted some of the feedback they received during the rulemaking process, including from operators like FanDuel, DraftKings, and OwnersBox. While OwnersBox advocated for language explicitly offering player vs. house, DraftKings and FanDuel advocated against and proposed language that is very similar to what is in the latest draft of regulations.

FanDuel proposed language that specifically prohibited props-style games that “have the effect of mimicking sports wagering” but that language was not picked up by regulators.

OwnersBox also expressed concern about these contests but argued that eliminating any contest versus the house would be a mistake:

“OwnersBox acknowledges the industry’s shared concern regarding the prevention of contests that might inadvertently resemble sports betting or proposition selection, masquerading as fantasy contests. However, it is important to note that not all house-based contests should be categorized as such. It is crucial to distinguish between those house-based contests that genuinely promote skill, knowledge, and participant interaction, as opposed to those that primarily involve chance or replicate traditional gambling activities. Categorically excluding all house-based contests may unfairly limit innovative, skill-based variations that can offer unique and engaging experiences while staying within the bounds of the Fantasy Contests Act.”

OwnersBox offers fantasy vs. the house in its Lighting Lineups contest, where players pick a slate of players from a range of options that they think will score the most points across a given set of sporting events.