Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 9: Commerce and Trade

Chapter 116: FANTASY SPORTS CONTESTS

  • § 4185. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Computer script" means a list of commands that can be executed by a program, scripting engine, or similar mechanism that a fantasy sports player can use to automate participation in a fantasy sports contest.

    (2) "Confidential fantasy sports contest information" means nonpublic information available to a fantasy sports operator that relates to a fantasy sports player's activity in a fantasy sports contest and that, if disclosed, may give another fantasy sports player an unfair competitive advantage in a fantasy sports contest.

    (3) "Fantasy sports contest" means a virtual or simulated sporting event governed by a uniform set of rules adopted by a fantasy sports operator in which:

    (A) a fantasy sports player may earn one or more cash prizes or awards, the value of which a fantasy sports operator discloses in advance of the contest;

    (B) a fantasy sports player uses his or her knowledge and skill of sports data, performance, and statistics to create and manage a fantasy sports team;

    (C) a fantasy sports team earns fantasy points based on the sports performance statistics accrued by individual athletes or teams, or both, in real world sporting events;

    (D) the outcome is determined by the number of fantasy points earned; and

    (E) the outcome is not determined by the score, the point spread, the performance of one or more teams, or the performance of an individual athlete in a single real world sporting event.

    (4) "Fantasy sports operator" means a person that offers to members of the public the opportunity to participate in a fantasy sports contest for consideration.

    (5) "Fantasy sports player" means an individual who participates in a fantasy sports contest for consideration.

    (6) "Location percentage" mean the percentage, rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent, of the total of all entry fees collected from fantasy sports players located in Vermont, divided by the total entry fees collected from all fantasy sports players in fantasy sports contests.

    (7) "Net fantasy sports contest revenues" means the amount equal to the total of all entry fees that a fantasy sports operator collects from all fantasy sports players, less the total of all sums paid out as winnings to all fantasy sports players, multiplied by the location percentage for Vermont. (Added 2017, No. 70, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)

  • § 4186. Consumer protection

    (a) A fantasy sports operator shall adopt commercially reasonable policies and procedures to:

    (1) prevent participation in a fantasy sports contest it offers to the public with a cash prize of $5.00 or more by:

    (A) the fantasy sports operator;

    (B) an employee of the fantasy sports operator or a relative of the employee who lives in the same household; or

    (C) a professional athlete or official who participates in one or more real world sporting events in the same sport as the fantasy sports contest;

    (2) prevent the disclosure of confidential fantasy sports contest information to an unauthorized person;

    (3) require that a fantasy sports player is 18 years of age or older, and verify the age of each player using one or more commercially available databases, which government or business regularly use to verify and authenticate age and identity;

    (4) limit and disclose to prospective players the number of entries a fantasy sports player may submit for each fantasy sports contest;

    (5) limit a fantasy sports player to not more than one username or account;

    (6) prohibit the use of computer scripts that provide a player with a competitive advantage over another player;

    (7) segregate player funds from operational funds, or maintain a reserve in the form of cash, cash equivalents, payment processor receivables, payment processor reserves, an irrevocable letter of credit, a bond, or a combination thereof in an amount that equals or exceeds the amount of deposits in fantasy sports player accounts, for the benefit and protection of fantasy sports player funds held in their accounts; and

    (8) notify fantasy sports players that winnings of a certain amount may be subject to income taxation.

    (b) A fantasy sports operator shall have the following duties:

    (1) The operator shall provide a link on its website to information and resources addressing addiction and compulsive behavior and where to seek assistance with these issues in Vermont and nationally.

    (2)(A) The operator shall enable a fantasy sports player to restrict irrevocably his or her own ability to participate in a fantasy sports contest, for a period of time the player specifies, by submitting a request to the operator through its website or by online chat with the operator's agent.

    (B) The operator shall provide to a player who self-restricts his or her participation information concerning:

    (i) available resources addressing addiction and compulsive behavior;

    (ii) how to close an account and restrictions on opening a new account during the period of self-restriction;

    (iii) requirements to reinstate an account at the end of the period; and

    (iv) how the operator addresses reward points and account balances during and after the period of self-restriction, and when the player closes his or her account.

    (3) The operator shall provide a player access to the following information for the previous six months:

    (A) a player's play history, including money spent, games played, previous line-ups, and prizes awarded;

    (B) a player's account details, including deposit amounts, withdrawal amounts, and bonus information, including amounts remaining for a pending bonus and amounts released to the player.

    (c)(1) A fantasy sports operator shall contract with a third party to perform an annual independent audit, consistent with the standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, to ensure compliance with the requirements in this chapter.

    (2) The fantasy sports operator shall submit the results of the independent audit to the Attorney General.

    (d) A fantasy sports operator shall not extend credit to a fantasy sports player.

    (e) A fantasy sports operator shall not offer a fantasy sports contest based on the performance of participants in college, high school, or youth athletic events. (Added 2017, No. 70, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)

  • § 4187. Fair and truthful advertising

    (a) A fantasy sports operator shall not depict in an advertisement to consumers in this State:

    (1) minors, other than professional athletes who may be minors;

    (2) students;

    (3) schools or colleges; or

    (4) school or college settings, provided that incidental depiction of nonfeatured minors does not violate this section.

    (b) A fantasy sports operator shall not state or imply in an advertisement to consumers in this State endorsement by:

    (1) minors, other than professional athletes who may be minors;

    (2) collegiate athletes;

    (3) colleges; or

    (4) college athletic associations.

    (c)(1) A fantasy sports operator shall include in an advertisement to consumers in this State information concerning assistance available to problem gamblers, or shall direct consumers to a reputable source of that information.

    (2) If an advertisement is of insufficient size or duration to provide the information required in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the advertisement shall refer to a website or application that does prominently include such information.

    (d) A fantasy sports operator shall only make representations concerning winnings that are accurate, not misleading, and capable of substantiation at the time of the representation. For purposes of this subsection, an advertisement is misleading if it makes representations about average winnings without equally prominently representing the average net winnings of all players. (Added 2017, No. 70, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)

  • § 4188. Exemption

    The provisions of 13 V.S.A. chapter 51, relating to gambling and lotteries, shall not apply to a fantasy sports contest. (Added 2017, No. 70, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)

  • § 4189. Registration

    In addition to applicable requirements under Titles 11-11C for a business organization doing business in this State to register with the Secretary of State, on or before October 15 of each year in which a fantasy sports operator offers a fantasy sports contest to consumers in this State, the operator shall file an annual registration with the Secretary of State on a form adopted for that purpose and pay to the Secretary an annual registration fee in the amount of $5,000.00. (Added 2017, No. 70, § 5, eff. June 8, 2017.)

  • § 4189a. Enforcement

    (a) A person that violates a provision of this chapter commits an unfair and deceptive act in commerce in violation of section 2453 of this title.

    (b) The Attorney General has the authority to adopt rules to implement the provisions of this chapter and to conduct civil investigations, enter into assurances of discontinuance, and bring civil actions as provided under chapter 63, subchapter 1 of this title. (Added 2017, No. 70, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)