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Ohio Senate Approves Bill To Regulate Fantasy Sports

workers set up a DraftKings promotions tent in the parking lot of Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., before an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets.
Charles Krupa
/
AP
workers set up a DraftKings promotions tent in the parking lot of Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., before an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets.

The Ohio Senate has overwhelming approved a bill that would, for the first time, impose state regulation on fantasy sports websites like FanDuel and DraftKings.

The bill would subject the sites to licensing, investigation and potential discipline from the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

“I don’t consider (fantasy sports) gambling – I consider that skill," said the bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Dave Burke of Marysville.

Another Republican Senator Bill Coley, who opposed the bill, tried to attach a 6 percent tax to help the state cover the cost of online gambling addiction. But that measure was defeated.

The bill defines “fantasy contest” as a simulated game that charges entry fees and where prize amounts are known in advance.

Under the bill, small office pools and other games where all of the money collected is paid out to winners are exempt.

The bill must now be reconciled with a similar one that cleared the House earlier this year.