RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The popularity of fantasy sports continues to grow across the U.S.
At least eight states have passed laws regulating the industry and soon North Carolina could join that list.
Jason Saine is one of the many North Carolinians who plays fantasy football.
But he is also a state representative looking to create regulations for the industry in the state.
Saine (R-Lincoln) is a sponsor of House Bill 279.
“This is really permissive legislation. It says regulatory or regulation but it really is a permissive legislative to allow fantasy sports to exist here,” Saine said.
The regulations aren’t meant for people who play using free sites.
It’s meant for the companies that run the games.
They would need to register with the secretary of state’s office and would need to pay a registration fee based on a percentage of their gross revenue.
The sites also would need to ensure that their players are at least 18 years old and would need to show that their contests are not rigged.
“I know that some folks might get a little bit apprehensive when they see that state government is looking at it, but the purpose here is to make sure that it is enabling, that we can always continue to do this,” Saine said.
Industry leaders said the bill would clarify the games are legal in North Carolina.
“In some other states, people have been playing these games for years and then suddenly a legislator or an attorney general had an opinion and then suddenly they can’t play anymore. We’re trying to make sure that’s not going to happen in North Carolina,” said Peter Schoenke with Fantasy Sports Trade Association chairman.
Saine’s bill is currently in a house committee.