Lawmakers in Georgia introduce daily fantasy sports measure

Georgia State Capitol
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Lawmakers in Georgia have introduced a bill to tax and regulate daily fantasy contests.

House Bill 1329, sponsored by Rep. Ron Stephens and Trey Kelley, has been introduced as a piece of legislation that aims to amend Georgia Code Title 50 to authorize regulated fantasy contests and enhance the duties and powers of the state’s Lottery Corporation.

The measure, which was introduced on Feb. 20, aims to establish a framework for fantasy contests in the Peach State as jurisdictions across the country debate the resemblance of pick’em-style fantasy contests to player prop sports betting.

HB 1329, if signed into law, would have the state’s Lottery Corporation oversee fantasy contests to ensure their integrity. Fantasy contests in the Peach State would be offered by licensed fantasy operators that pay a nonrefundable application fee of $100,000 and an annual licensing fee of $1 million. Operators may also be required to pay additional fees that cover the costs of application reviews and license renewals.

The GLC must approve or deny a potential operator within 60 days of application receipt.

Operators that are approved for a license under HB 1329 will be required to pay a 20% annual privilege tax on adjusted gross fantasy contest receipts. If adjusted receipts are negative for a given month, then an operator is allowed to carry that amount over.

HB 1329, which permits individuals 19 years of age or older to play fantasy contests, allocates tax revenue toward operating expenses and state educational programs.

Operators that fail to adhere to HB 1329’s standards face an administrative fine of up to $25,000 per violation or $50,000 for violations that arise out of the same transaction.

Fantasy operator calls Georgia home

HB 1329 would benefit Atlanta-based fantasy operator PrizePicks, which has recently been embroiled in controversy.

Earlier this month, the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC) ordered PrizePicks, Underdog Fantasy, and Betr, to exit the state by March 1 for “offering or accepting illegal wagers.” PrizePicks will leave the Florida gaming market by the FGCC’s March 1 deadline.

Underdog and PrizePicks would also receive cease and desist letters in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) determined that PrizePicks and Underdog violated Amendment 100 to the Arkansas Constitution, which considers pick’em-style contests as betting. Arkansas, which authorized online sports betting in 2022, permits traditional fantasy contests under Act 1075 of the 2017 Regular Session.

PrizePicks also announced plans to cease operations of its pick’em-style contests in New York amid regulatory changes. The changes, which prohibit contests that mimic player prop betting, led the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) to reach a $15 million settlement with PrizePicks for operating without a wagering license in the state. PrizePicks is expected to apply for a license but faces an uphill battle as it violated state law for over 3 years, per the NYSGC.