Ohio to regulate fantasy sports in time for NFL season

Local News

FILE – In this March 21, 2019, file photo, gamblers line up to place bets on the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City N.J. This is the first March Madness tournament since legal gambling expanded last year in the U.S. The spread of legalized sports betting is largely following regional boundaries. Lawmakers across the Northeast and upper Midwest have generally approved it or are still considering doing so this year. But in the Deep South and far West, fewer states are rushing in a year after the US Supreme Court cleared the way for legal sports betting nationally. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Casino Control Commission’s new rules for fantasy sports wagering in the state would ban participants from allowing systems to pick their players, a practice known as “auto drafting.”

Rules against individuals randomly selecting players for their rosters would apply only to contests in which participants put money on the line and the operator takes a cut.

The Ohio law defines fantasy contests as a game of skill and not one where outcomes are based on random or historical events, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Commission spokeswoman Jessica Franks said auto drafting removes the skill component of fantasy wagering.

“It no longer meets with the requirement of the law,” she said.

The new regulation would not affect office pools or casual leagues where each participant pays an entry fee and the entire pot of money is paid out. It mostly applies to operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo and specifically addresses fantasy sports.

The commission is set to vote on a final proposal Wednesday after working on the rules for more than a year. They will take effect in early September, just in time for the start of the National Football League season.

In a bill approved in March 2018, the Legislature required fantasy sports operators to pay for and obtain a state license. The bill also banned fantasy contests based on youth and college sports and shifted regulation of the industry to the Casino Control Commission.

The Legislature has yet to act on legalizing sports betting in the

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