Regulating Fantasy Sports in VA

Mar 22, 2016

Virginia has become the first state to legalize daily fantasy sports -- the flipside? The state will also now regulate the quickly growing business.

Turns out, fantasy sports go way beyond football...

“There’s fantasy hockey, there’s fantasy bull riding, there’s fantasy bass fishing.”

Brendan Dwyer is an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University -- he’s studied fantasy sports for almost a decade. Experts estimate one in 9 Americans play fantasy sports.

“There’s fantasy Congress! Fantasy movies, Oscars!”

Now in Virginia, the websites that run those games -- like ESPN, Yahoo, or CBS Sports -- will have to pay the state 50-thousand-dollars if they want to keep it up. They’ll also have to submit to state audits and ensure people who play are 18 or over.

But the only difference for those who play fantasy sports, says Dwyer, is a greater recognition that playing, especially the daily versions, come with the risk of losing money.

“Hopefully by regulating it, it should set off some warning flags for parents because that’s really the population that’s at most risk -- teenagers probably up to the age 22, 23.”

And, just in case you’re worried, your March Madness bracket is unaffected.