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US – Michigan legalises fantasy sports

By - 3 December 2018

Michigan’s state house has voted to legalise fantasy sports gambling in the state by approving bills to legalise it and create a statutory framework to oversee it.

There will be a steep financial hurdle to get into the market though with a $50,000 registration fee and an annual renewal of $20,000, which many says is too much for smaller fantasy gaming businesses to get involved.

Republican Representative Brandt Iden, who sponsored the bills, claimed Indiana has set similar fees for fantasy gaming businesses.

He said: “I don’t believe that excludes anybody from the marketplace. We want serious actors who can come in and operate these games and make sure they are benefitting players in the state of Michigan. These fees are consistent with other states and I’m happy with where we’re at. We know companies like FanDuel and DraftKings currently operate in this space, and these companies have come to us and said, like other states, Michigan should be regulated. This is not sports betting. This is not gambling. It’s a very important the distinction here. This is a game of skill, not a game of chance, and that’s why we’ve set it up differently.”

Steve Brubaker, an attorney representing Small Businesses of Fantasy Sports Trade Association, said: “The companies that will pay that price to operate in Michigan are two: Draft Kings and Fan Duel.”

Brubaker says the states fee would take a substantial cut from the profit margin of smaller fantasy sports businesses.
He said a tiered registration fee, as is used in Colorado, would be a much better model.

Mr. Iden added that he was also piecing together a comprehensive sports betting bill to introduce in 2019.

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