Bill To Legalize Daily Fantasy Sports In Georgia Introduced In House

Written By Adam Hensley on February 23, 2024 - Last Updated on February 26, 2024
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Daily fantasy sports could soon be regulated in Georgia.

Lawmakers introduced House Bill 1329 this week. It’s a big step since DFS games operate in a gray area of Georgia law. They’re neither explicitly legal nor illegal.

There are no current laws that address daily fantasy sports in Georgia.

The state would collect 20% in tax revenue from DFS operators if bill passes

Daily fantasy sports in Georgia are a popular alternative for residents since Georgia sports betting is unavailable. Should this bill eventually become law, it would provide a regulatory framework that would aid both customers and the state.

Republican Reps. Ron Stephens and Trey Kelley filed House Bill 1329 to change Georgia Code Title 50. In short, it would officially legalize DFS games in Georgia. The Georgia Lottery Commission would regulate the industry. Additionally, Georgia would collect taxes from DFS contests.

HB 1329 calls for operators to pay an application fee of $100,000, which is nonrefundable. Annual licensing fees for DFS operators would be $1 million. Extra costs, such as renewal fees or reviews of applications, would also fall on the operators.

The bill outlines a timeline, too. Operators would be approved or denied within 60 days of receiving their application receipt. Should they commit any violations while operating in Georgia, they could receive fines between $25,000 and $50,000.

DFS operators would pay a 20% tax on their adjusted gross receipts. Should an operator’s revenue be in the red for a certain month, they would be allowed to carry that amount over to the following month. Certain tax revenue from DFS would then be allocated toward Georgia education programs, as well as operating expenses.

Additionally, players under the age of 19 years old would not be allowed to participate in DFS contests under the proposed legislation.

Is DFS the same as sports betting?

Daily fantasy sports are not the same as sports betting, but they are similar. That’s where companies have run into problems.

Typically, DFS contests lead customers to create their own lineups of players and face off against other players. The goal is similar to what a typical week in a fantasy football league would look like, only on a much bigger scale. Player pools can be quite large, and in turn, so can the prizes.

PrizePicks’ head of company relations and market intelligence, Steven Kerstein, talked to PlayGeorgia about DFS contests in 2022.

“Rather than needing to tinker with salary cap lineups for hours prior to the start of games, PrizePicks members can simply pick and choose projections of their favorite athletes, from multiple sports, and finalize their entry in under 60 seconds. Members don’t need to be worried about pre-game injury announcements or missing important news. Once an entry is in, they can sit back, enjoy the game and sweat out their respective projections.”

Where operators like PrizePicks fell into hot water was states believing DFS games crept too close to sports betting’s territory. It has a similar feel to creating a parlay featuring propositional bets. For instance, Atlanta residents could be watching a Hawks game and select PrizePick’s over for Trae Young’s points and the under for Dejonte Murray’s assists. That prop-bet, over/under feel is where states find issues.

Look no further than the neighboring state of Florida, which claimed PrizePicks, Underdog Fantasy and Betr offered and accepted illegal wagers. They have until March 1 to leave the state. Similarly, Arkansas handed Underdog Fantasy and PrizePicks cease-and-desist letters because it views the pick’em style as sports wagering.

Current DFS offerings in Georgia

While HB 1329 is not a done deal, Georgia residents can still pick from their choice of DFS games to play in the meantime. Options include:

  • PrizePicks
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • Monkey Knife Fight
  • WinView Games
  • Outlast Daily Fantasy Sports
  • Yahoo Fantasy Sports

Customers can access these offerings from computers or mobile apps. PrizePicks is a Georgia fan favorite, as it’s headquartered in Atlanta.

Photo by PlayGeorgia
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa, who currently works for the USA Today Network. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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