Ohio Advances Fantasy Sports Bill Excluding Horse Racing

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Mahoning Valley

By T. D. Thornton

The Ohio Legislature advanced a bill to the governor Tuesday that legalizes fantasy sports contests based on the popular entry-fees-for-prize money model, but the pending law would specifically prohibit any form of contest play that involves “horses or horse racing.”

So if Gov. John Kasich’s signs House Bill 132 into law, online pay-to-play contest sites like FanDuel and DraftKings would become explicitly legal in Ohio.

But online handicapping tournaments, such as qualifiers for the National Handicapping Championship, and fantasy horse racing tourney sites, such as DerbyWars, would appear to be illegal based on the current version of the legislation.

According to the industry site www.gamblingcompliance.com, the bill had already been approved by the Ohio House of Representatives back in May, but the Dec. 5 passage by an 86-3 margin was a “concurrence vote” to bring it in line with Senate-passed amendments, “including one clarification that horse racing is not included in the fantasy sports law.”

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