Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is pushing for more rules on daily fantasy sports sites.
The fantasy sports market generates billions of dollars every year. Sites like FanDuel and DraftKings host sports contests that pay out millions every week.
610 Sports host and fantasy sports player Danny Parkins admits it’s only a matter of time before the government steps in. “It is online poker. It is gambling. A bunch of people are playing a game of skill and have a ton of money at stake where you can win it instantly with very little regulation."
That’s the very reason Nixon announced plans to implement regulation and put taxes in place for players like Parkins. In his State of the State address on Wednesday, Nixon said online gambling is completely unregulated and treating online fantasy sports like other casinos in the state could bring in millions of dollars for education.
Parkins agrees with Nixon’s plan. "I'm all for it. I obviously don't want to lose more of my winnings, I don't enjoy taxes, but it's one of those good problems as the saying goes,” he said.
Some of the entry fees reach hundreds, even thousands of dollars. The earnings can be even higher.
"I think they want to be proactive and the legislature does as well, and I've talked to them about this,” explained state Rep. Jeremy LaFaver.
He said FanDuel and DraftKings approached the state last fall as a way to be proactive.
LaFaver is part of the regulation discussion but doesn’t think taxing the fantasy sports market is necessary.
“When they sit down on their couch on Saturdays or Sundays or whatever it is, can’t there be one part of their life that we don’t feel like we have to tax? And if they can have fun doing that, I want to make sure it's safe and that there are protections or young people in there,” LaFaver said. “But we can get there, I think, without making this experience another experience that leaves a bad taste in people's mouths with the governor."
Either way, Parkins said he’ll still play. "I always believe that the consumer will win out here."
FanDuel and DraftKings said in a joint statement to 41 Action News that they have faith in the legislative process and look forward to working with lawmakers “to ensure that the many thousands of Missourians who play daily fantasy sports can continue to enjoy the contests they love.”
Lexi Sutter can be reached at email@example.com.