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Pence gets bill legalizing paid fantasy sports

Pence gets bill legalizing paid fantasy sports
Posted at 4:52 PM, Mar 04, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- A bill legalizing paid fantasy sports in Indiana is headed to Gov. Mike Pence's desk.

The bill, Senate Enrolled Act 339, would classify paid fantasy sports as a "game of skill" and give the Indiana Gaming Commission authority to regulate it.

State Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) authored the legislation, which passed the Senate 34-10 and House 82-12.

“Millions of Americans across the country participate in daily fantasy sports games every year,” Ford said. “Senate Enrolled Act 339 is a step in the right direction to protect those Hoosiers who participate in these games.”

Paid fantasy sports operators will be required to pay an initial fee of between $50,000-$75,000 to operate in the state, as well as an annual $5,000 renewal fee.

The bill also requires them to verify participants are at least 18 years old and the divulge the values of all prizes and awards before fantasy games begin.

Pence has said repeatedly he opposes expanding gaming in Indiana, although last year he allowed two gaming-related bills to become law without his signature.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Pence intended to sign the fantasy sports bill. In response to an email requesting comment, a Pence spokeswoman said "the Governor will review the legislation when it reaches his desk and then make a decision.”

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