The Governor of Virginia signed into law the FANTASY CONTESTS ACT. As we previously reported, the bill defines “fantasy contest” as any fantasy or simulated game or contest in which: (i) the value of all prizes and awards offered to winning participants is established and made known to the participants in advance of the contest; (ii) all winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals, including athletes in the case of sports events; and (iii) no winning outcome is based on the score, point spread, or any performance of any single actual team or combination of teams or solely on any single performance of an individual athlete or player in any single actual event.
The bill requires a fantasy contest operator, as a condition for registration, to establish procedures that include ensuring that individuals who are the subject of a fantasy contest (e.g., the athletes themselves) are restricted from entering a fantasy contest that is determined, in whole or in part, on the accumulated statistical results of a team of individuals in the game or contest in which they are a participant. The bill requires operators of fantasy contests to register annually with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, annually contract with a certified public accountant to conduct an independent audit, and to annually contract with a testing laboratory to verify compliance with certain procedures set forth for fantasy contests. The bill also sets forth penalties for violation of the Act and provides that fantasy contests conducted in accordance with these measures are not illegal gambling.