Absurd Ohio Legislation Proposes DFS Sites With No Fees

October 6th 2016 | Ivan Potocki


It isn’t often that an attempt at regulating online gambling & gaming in the States is seen as a bad thing, but latest bill proposed in Ohio certainly doesn’t bring any positive feelings

Usually, movements towards online gambling regulation in the US are seen as a good thing. Even when they don’t concern online poker directly, they demonstrate the willingness to go in the right direction.

However, latest proposal to regulate Daily Fantasy Sports in Ohio, submitted by Senator Bill Coley, is borderline absurd.

Daily Fantasy Sports with no fees?

Colley’s proposal to regulate DFS in Ohio contains the language which claims that Draft Kings, Fan Duel, as well as other smaller daily fantasy sports operators, are breaking the law by charging customers for their services. He believes that sites should only be allowed to operate if 100% of the money is distributed to players.

While this may sound as a dream come true for players at a first glance, it is anything but. Is there a nice restaurant out there that serves you meals and drinks of your choice and then doesn’t charge you anything? Can you go to a gas station, fill up your tank, and be on your marry way without paying a penny?

Of course not.

The business operation that doesn’t make money stops being a business operation. While some insist that sites could make money from the ads, this model has been tried in the past with some poker sites – and it failed miserably. It just doesn’t work.

Fan Duel & DraftKings with a different take on the matter

According to Senator Coley, the bill would not shut down the businesses which currently operate in Ohio, but it would prevent them from taking in the rake. He claims that practice of charging rake is, in fact, illegal, but prosecutors in the state are not interested in pursuing the matter.


DraftsKings and Fan Duel, two biggest DFS sites, are strongly opposing Senator Coley’s view of the situation, claiming he is out of touch with Ohioans and their wishes

DraftKings and Fan Duel, the two biggest daily fantasy sports sites in the States disagree with this stance. Their spokesman explained that online DFS sites in the state are perfectly legal and that they are involved in a process of trying to update the laws so to fit recent technological changes.

Answering further to Coley’s allegations, Marc La Vorgna, the spokesman for the both sites, stated that the Senator was out of touch with state residents who enjoy fantasy sports and don’t mind paying reasonable fees for the privilege of competition.

As of right now, Ohioan law is actually unclear on the DFS, as lawmakers haven’t made up their mind about whether it represents a game of skill or a game of luck.

Ohio online poker implications

Although chances are slim to none for this bill to ever become an actual law, its implications for online poker in Ohio would be detrimental. There is hardly a site out there that would be interested in offering rake-free games, so a law like this would put a stop on any hopes for regulated online poker in the state.


A bill like this would certainly not increase chances for regulated online poker in Ohio

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Ivan Potocki on EmailIvan Potocki on Twitter
Ivan Potocki
Ivan Potocki
Assistant Editor and Columnist at Beat The Fish
Ivan first started playing poker in 2006 and played professionally from 2010-2013. He holds a BA in English language and literature. Since joining the Beat The Fish team in 2016 Ivan has made an immediate impact, leading the news section and contributing numerous feature articles. You can reach Ivan directly at ivanpotocki@gmail.com

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