The Michigan Gaming Control Board’s (MGCB) proposed Administrative Rules for fantasy contests have gone into effect. These rules, which were submitted to the Michigan Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, now provide the essential regulatory framework for the licensing and operation of fantasy sports contests in the state.
The Administrative Rules were developed based on the Fantasy Contest Consumer Protection Act, a landmark piece of legislation that authorizes the operation, conduct and offering of fantasy contests in the state. The legislation was passed by the legislature on December 20, 2019, and now, these Administrative Rules go into effect to ensure that fantasy contests in Michigan are safe, fair, and operated in a responsible and legal manner.
Henry Williams, Executive Director of the MGCB, highlighted the importance of these rules, stating: “Fantasy contests, like any other form of competitive gaming, thrive on rules and regulations”.
“The Administrative Rules, which were reviewed by the Michigan Legislature, provide a level playing field for all fantasy contest operators and participants, and will help ensure that fairness, transparency, and integrity are upheld”, he added.
The Rules state that a fantasy contest operator or licensed management company may only offer or conduct a fantasy contest based on athletic events. This is defined as a professional, collegiate, or nationally recognized sports game, contest, or competition that involves the skills of participating individual athletes and whose outcome depends directly on the performance of those athletes. However, the rules prohibit imitation sports betting or the inclusion of “prop bets” in fantasy contests.
The MGCB intends to conduct a review of the offerings of all current fantasy contest operators to ensure that they are in compliance with the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act and the new administrative rules. It is worth noting that commercial casinos and federally recognized tribes that operate Class III casinos do not need a specific license to run fantasy contests.
However, they must comply with all other requirements set forth in the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act and associated Rules.