AB 1437, as amended, Gray. Gambling: Internet Fantasy Sports Game Protection Act.
Existing law, the Gambling Control Act, provides for the licensure and regulation of various legalized gambling activities and establishments by the California Gambling Control Commission and the investigation and enforcement of those activities and establishments by the Department of Justice. Existing law prohibits a person, whether or not for gain, hire, or reward, from making a betting pool or placing a bet or wager on the result of any contest or event, including a sporting event, as specified.
This bill would enact the Internet Fantasy Sports Games Consumer Protection Act, which would require a person or entity to apply for, and receive, a license from the department prior to offering an Internet fantasy sports game for play in California. The bill would require the department to issue a license to a person or entity that applies for a license if the person or entity satisfies specified requirements, including, among others, that the applicant is of good character, honesty, and integrity. The bill would also require a person to register with a “licensed operator” prior to participating in an “Internet fantasy sports game” on an “authorized Internet Web site,” as those terms are defined.
The bill would require a licensed operator, among other things, to ensure that a registered player is eligible to play on an authorized Internet Web site, and to implement appropriate data security standards to prevent access by a person whose age and location have not been verified. The bill would
authorize the department to assess a civil penalty against a licensed operator that violates these provisions according to a specified schedule depending on the number of violations. The bill would require the department to develop an online self-exclusion form on or before July 1, 2017, and to deliver that form to each licensed operator, and would require each licensed operator to make that form available to its registered players. The bill would also require a licensed operator to, among other things, hold the funds in a registered player’s account in trust for that registered
begin delete player .end delete The bill would prohibit a licensed operator from engaging in certain activities, including, among other things, from allowing a registered player to establish more than one account or user name on its authorized Internet Web
site, from issuing credit to a registered player, from advertising in publications or other media that are aimed exclusively or primarily at persons under 21 years of age, and from depicting persons under 21 years of age, students, or school or college settings in its advertisements. The bill would also prohibit an officer, director, principal, employee, or contractor of a licensed operator from engaging in certain activities, including, among other things, from playing an Internet fantasy sports game offered by a licensed operator.
The bill would require a licensed operator to pay an annual regulatory fee, for deposit into the Fantasy Sports Fund, which the bill would establish in the State Treasury. The bill would continuously appropriate the Fantasy Sports Fund to the department for the reasonable costs of license oversight, consumer protection, state regulation, and other purposes related to the bill. The bill would require each licensed operator to pay a one-time license fee into the General Fund in an unspecified amount. The license fee would be credited against quarterly fees equivalent to an unspecified percentage of the licensed operator’s gross income that is attributable to the operation of an authorized Internet Web site in California.
The bill would make proprietary information provided by a licensed operator confidential in order to protect the licensed operator and to protect the security of an authorized Internet Web site. The bill would also prohibit a city, county, or city and county from regulating, taxing, or entering into a contract with respect to, any matter governed to the bill’s provisions, and would make conforming changes.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
This bill would include a change in state statute that would result in a taxpayer paying a higher tax within the meaning of Section 3 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, and thus would require for passage the approval of 2⁄3 of the membership of each house of the Legislature.
Vote: 2⁄3. Appropriation: yes. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Chapter 4.7 (commencing with Section 19750)
2is added to Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, to
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the
11Internet Fantasy Sports Games Consumer Protection Act.
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
P4 1(a) The Internet is an integral tool in the everyday lives of
2Californians. Commerce, communication, and entertainment are
3just some of the areas in which this technological aid thrives.
4(b) Participating in Internet fantasy sports games, including
5those of the daily variety, is a very popular activity in California,
6and with the Internet as a technological aid, participation in these
7games can be conducted in a virtual environment and played from
8the privacy of one’s own computer or mobile device. Despite a
9lack of regulation, participation in Internet fantasy sports games
10still remains popular with California residents.
11(c) Californians participate in Internet fantasy sports games on
12a daily basis on unregulated Internet Web sites. Neither federal
13nor California laws provide any consumer protections for California
14players. California players assume all risks, any negative social or
15financial impacts are borne by the citizens of California, and the
16revenues generated from these games are being realized by
17unlicensed operators and do not provide any benefits to the citizens
19(d) To better protect the people of California from potential
20risks from, and to maintain oversight of the systems used to carry
21out, Internet fantasy sports games, the Legislature finds it to be in
22the interest of the people to establish a regulatory framework by
23which entities, as authorized by the Department of Justice, may
24facilitate Internet fantasy sports games to players within California.
25(e) State authorization to operate Internet fantasy sports games
26consistent with federal law, and heightened regulation and
27enforcement regarding this activity, will provide California with
28the means to protect its citizens and consumers under certain
29conditions by providing a framework to ensure that, among other
30things, the state is not subject to an unnecessary and unprecedented
31expansion of gambling, minors are prevented from gambling,
32residents participating in these games are protected, and the state
33is not deprived of revenues to which it would otherwise be entitled
34from these activities.
It is the intent of the Legislature to create a licensing
36and regulatory framework and enforcement mechanisms for
37Internet fantasy sports games to do all of the following:
38(a) Ensure that Internet fantasy sports games of any duration
39are offered for play only in a manner that is consistent with federal
40and state law.
P5 1(b) Ensure the state possesses sufficient resources to enforce
2prohibitions of illegal gambling activity, in part, by establishing
3a regulatory enforcement fund.
4(c) Ensure that the state is able to collect income tax revenues
5from registered players participating in authorized Internet fantasy
6sports games in the state.
7(d) Create systems to protect each registered player’s private
8information and prevent fraud and identity theft.
9(e) Ensure that a registered player is able to have his or her
10financial transactions processed in a secure, timely, and transparent
12(f) Require that each licensed operator’s Internet Web site
13contains information relating to problem gambling, including a
14telephone number that an individual may call to seek information
15and assistance for a potential gambling addiction.
16(g) Ensure that each licensed operator maintains responsibility
17for the Internet fantasy sports games business and is not serving
18as a facade for an entity not eligible to be a licensed operator, and
19that each Internet fantasy sports games Web site identifies who is
20the actual licensed operator to ensure protection of players.
21(h) Deposit regulatory fees collected by the state from each
22licensed operator into the Fantasy Sports Fund, as established in
For purposes of this chapter, all of the following
29(a) “Authorized Internet Web site” means an Internet Web site
30operated by a licensed operator.
31(b) “Department” means the Department of Justice.
32(c) “Fund” means the Fantasy Sports Fund established by
34(d) “Internet fantasy sports game” means a game of any duration
35conducted on the Internet in which a registered player does all of
37(1) Competes against other registered players or a target score
38as the owner or manager of an imaginary or simulated team of
39 athletes in an imaginary or simulated game.
P6 1(2) Uses the statistics accumulated by the athletes
2in real-world sporting events to determine the scores
3of the imaginary or simulated game.
4(3) Plays for a predetermined prize.
5(4) Pays a charge to the licensed operator
providing the game
6in order to participate.
7(e) “Licensed operator” means a person or entity licensed
8pursuant to this chapter to offer Internet fantasy sports games for
9play on an authorized Internet Web site.
10(f) “Registered player” means a person registered pursuant to
11this chapter to participate in an Internet fantasy sports game on an
12authorized Internet Web site.
(a) A person or entity shall apply for and receive a
17license from the department prior to offering an Internet fantasy
18sports game for play in California.
19(b) The department shall issue a license to a person or entity to
20operate an authorized Internet Web site if the applicant satisfies
21all of the following:
22(1) The applicant is of good character, honesty, and integrity.
23(2) The applicant’s prior activities, criminal record, if any,
24reputation, habits, and associations do not pose a threat to the
25public interest of the state, or to the effective regulation and control
26of Internet fantasy sports games, or create or enhance the dangers
27of unsuitable, unfair, or illegal practices, methods, and activities
28in the conduct of Internet fantasy sports games or in the carrying
29on of the business and financial arrangements incidental to those
31(3) The applicant is in all other respects qualified to be licensed
32as provided in this chapter, including, but not limited to, providing
33documentation establishing that the applicant is capable of paying
34the one-time license fee described in Section 19782 through its
35own net position or through credit directly available to the
37(c) The department may promulgate regulations to implement
(a) In order to ensure the protection of registered
2players, an authorized Internet Web site shall identify the person
3or entity that is the licensed operator.
4(b) A licensed operator shall ensure that an Internet fantasy
5sports game on its authorized Internet Web site complies with all
6of the following:
7(1) An imaginary or simulated sports team in the game shall
8not be based on the current membership of an actual team that is
9a member of
begin delete an amateur orend delete professional sports organization.
10(2) A prize or award offered to the winning registered player
11or players shall be established and made known to the participating
12registered players in advance of the contest.
13(3) The value of a prize or award offered to the winning
14registered player or players shall not be determined by the number
15of participating registered players or the amount of any charges
16paid by those participating registered players to the licensed
18(4) The winning outcome of the game shall not be either of the
20(A) Based on the score, point spread, or performance of any
21single real-world team or any combination of real-world teams.
22(B) Based solely on the single performance of an individual
23athlete in a single real-world sporting event.
28 (1) A licensed operator shall hold the funds of a registered
29player in a registered player’s account in trust for that registered
31(2) A licensed operator shall implement, and prominently display
32on its authorized Internet Web site, procedures that accomplish all
33of the following:
34(A) Prevent unauthorized withdrawals from registered player
35accounts, including, but not limited to, withdrawals by the licensed
36operator and other individuals.
37(B) Prevent commingling of funds in a registered player’s
38account with other funds, including, but not limited to, the licensed
P8 1(C) Establish procedures for a
registered player to report
2complaints to the licensed operator regarding whether his or her
3account has been misallocated, compromised, or otherwise
4mishandled, and a procedure for the licensed operator to respond
5to those complaints.
7 A licensed operator shall not issue credit to a registered
10 A licensed operator shall not allow a registered player to
11establish more than one account or user name on its authorized
12Internet Web site.
14 (1) A licensed operator shall not advertise in publications
15or other media that are aimed exclusively or primarily at persons
16under 21 years of age. A licensed operator’s advertisement shall
17not depict persons under 21 years of age, students, or school or
19(2) A licensed operator shall not advertise an Internet fantasy
20sports game to an individual by phone, email, or any other form
21of individually targeted advertisement or marketing material, if
22the individual has self-excluded himself or herself pursuant to
23Section 19774 or if the individual is otherwise barred from
24participating in that Internet fantasy sports game.
(a) A person shall register with a licensed operator
26prior to participating in an Internet fantasy sports game on an
27authorized Internet Web site.
28(b) A licensed operator shall ensure that a registered player is
29eligible to play on an authorized Internet Web site, and implement
30appropriate data security standards to prevent access by a person
31whose age and location have not been verified in accordance with
33(c) A licensed operator shall ensure that a registered player is
34physically located within the State of California at the time of
35participating in an Internet fantasy sports game on an authorized
36Internet Web site.
37(d) A licensed operator shall ensure that a registered player is
38at least 21 years of age.
39(e) (1) Each licensed operator shall, prior to registering and
40permitting a person to participate in an Internet fantasy sports game
P9 1on an authorized Internet Web site, verify that the person is 21
2years of age or older by doing both of the following:
3(A) Attempting to match the name, address, and date of birth
4provided by the person to information contained in records in a
5database of individuals who have been verified to be 21 years of
6age or older by reference to an appropriate database of government
8(B) Verifying that the name and physical billing address on the
9check or credit card offered for payment by the person seeking to
10be a registered player matches the name and address listed in the
11database described in subparagraph (A).
12(2) If the licensed operator is unable to verify that the person is
1321 years of age or older pursuant to paragraph (1), the licensed
14operator shall require the person to submit age-verification
15documents consisting of an attestation signed by the person that
16he or she is 21 years of age or older and a copy of a valid form of
17government identification, either electronically or by mail. For the
18purposes of this paragraph, a valid form of government
19identification includes a driver’s license, state identification card,
20passport, official naturalization or immigration document, including
21an alien registration receipt card or an immigrant visa, or United
22States military identification. The licensed operator shall verify
23that the physical billing address on the check or credit card
24provided by the person matches the address listed on his or her
26(3) A licensed operator is not in violation of this section if the
27operator complies with the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2),
28and a person under 21 years of age participates in an Internet
29fantasy sports game on the operator’s authorized Internet Web
31(f) The department may assess a civil penalty against a licensed
32operator that violates this section according to the following
34(1) Not less than one thousand dollars
($1,000), and not more
35than two thousand dollars ($2,000), for the first violation.
36(2) Not less than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500),
37and not more than three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500),
38for the second violation.
39(3) Not less than four thousand dollars ($4,000), and not more
40than five thousand dollars ($5,000), for the third violation.
P10 1(4) Not less than five thousand five hundred dollars ($5,500),
2and not more than six thousand five hundred dollars ($6,500), for
3the fourth violation.
4(5) Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for a fifth or subsequent
6(g) (1) The department shall, by regulation, provide a process
7for a licensed operator to exclude from play any person who has
8filled out an online self-exclusion form.
9(2) The department shall develop an online self-exclusion form
10on or before July 1, 2017.
11(3) The department shall deliver the form described in paragraph
12(2) to each licensed operator.
13(4) A licensed operator shall prominently display a link to the
14department’s Responsible Gambling Internet Web page and the
15online self-exclusion form described in paragraph (2) when either
16of the following occurs:
17(A) A person registers as a registered player.
18(B) Each time a registered player accesses the authorized
19Internet Web site prior to playing.
20(5) A licensed operator shall retain each online self-exclusion
21form submitted to it by a registered player to identify persons who
22want to be excluded from play. A licensed operator shall exclude
23those persons from play.
24(6) A licensed operator that has made commercially reasonable
25efforts to comply with this subdivision is not in violation of this
26section if a person who has filled out an online self-exclusion form
27thereafter participates in an Internet fantasy sports game on the
28operator’s authorized Internet Web site.
(a) (1) This subdivision applies to all of the following
31(A) An officer of a licensed operator.
32(B) A director of a licensed operator.
33(C) A principal of a licensed operator.
34(D) An employee of a licensed operator.
35(E) A contractor of a licensed operator.
36(2) A person listed in paragraph (1) shall not play an Internet
37fantasy sports game offered by a licensed operator.
38(3) A person listed in paragraph (1) shall not play an Internet
39fantasy sports game offered by a licensed operator through another
40person as a proxy.
P11 1(4) A person listed in paragraph (1) shall not disclose proprietary
2or nonpublic information that may affect the play of an Internet
3fantasy sports game to any individual authorized to play that
4Internet fantasy sports game.
5(5) A licensed operator shall make the prohibitions in this
6subdivision known to all affected individuals and corporate entities.
7(b) (1) A licensed operator shall identify a highly experienced
8registered player using a symbol attached to that registered player’s
begin delete username,end delete or by other means easily
10identifiable by other registered players.
11(2) A licensed operator shall develop and offer at least one
12Internet fantasy sports game in which a highly experienced player
13cannot participate either directly or through another person as a
(a) A licensed operator shall facilitate the collection
16by the Franchise Tax Board of personal income taxes from
17registered players and shall be responsible for providing current
18and accurate documentation on a timely basis to all state agencies.
19(b) The state and its agencies shall treat the proprietary
20information provided by a licensed operator as confidential in
21order to protect the licensed operator and to protect the security
22of an authorized Internet Web site.
23(c) Proprietary information supplied by a licensed operator to
24a state agency is exempt from public disclosure, consistent with
25subdivision (b) of Section 6253 of the Government Code.
(a) The Fantasy Sports Fund is hereby created in the
30State Treasury, to be administered by the department.
31Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, all
32moneys in the fund are continuously appropriated to the
33department, without regard to fiscal years, in the amounts necessary
34for the department to perform its duties under this chapter.
35(b) Each licensed operator shall pay an annual regulatory fee,
36to be deposited in the Fantasy Sports Fund, in an amount to be
37determined by the department, for the reasonable costs of license
38oversight, consumer protection, state regulation, problem gambling
39programs, and other regulatory purposes related to this chapter,
P12 1including, but not limited to, enforcement efforts related to illegal
2 Internet gambling activities.
(a) Prior to operating its authorized Internet Web site,
4a licensed operator shall remit to the Treasurer a one-time license
5fee in the amount of ____ ($____), to be deposited into the General
6Fund and credited against charges imposed pursuant to subdivision
7(b). Upon depletion of the license fee balance, the department shall
8notify the licensed operator to commence quarterly payments to
9the state in accordance with subdivision (b).
10(b) In consideration of the substantial value of each license, a
11licensed operator shall remit to the Treasurer on a quarterly basis
12for deposit in the General Fund an amount equal to ____ percent
13of its gross income that is attributable to the operation of an
14authorized Internet Web site in California.
15(1) Each quarterly payment shall be due on the 10th day of the
16month following the end of each quarter.
17(2) A licensed operator shall make all electronic and written
18financial records available to the Treasurer and the department on
19an electronic basis.
A city, county, or city and county shall not regulate,
24tax, or enter into a contract with respect to any matter governed
25by this chapter. This section does not prohibit or limit the
26investigation and prosecution of any violation of this chapter.
Section 337a of the Penal Code is amended to read:
(a) Except as provided in Section 336.9 and as authorized
29pursuant to Chapter 4.7 (commencing with Section 19750) of
30Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, every person
31who engages in one of the following offenses shall be punished
32for a first offense by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of
33not more than one year or in the state prison, or by a fine not to
34exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both imprisonment
36(1) Pool selling or bookmaking, with or without writing, at any
37time or place.
38(2) Whether for gain, hire, reward, or gratuitously, or otherwise,
39keeps or occupies, for any period of time whatsoever, any room,
40shed, tenement, tent, booth, building, float, vessel, place, stand or
P13 1enclosure, of any kind, or any part thereof, with a book or books,
2paper or papers, apparatus, device or paraphernalia, for the purpose
3of recording or registering any bet or bets, any purported bet or
4bets, wager or wagers, any purported wager or wagers, selling
5pools, or purported pools, upon the result, or purported result, of
6any trial, purported trial, contest, or purported contest, of skill,
7speed or power of endurance of person or animal, or between
8persons, animals, or mechanical apparatus, or upon the result, or
9purported result, of any lot, chance, casualty, unknown or
10 contingent event whatsoever.
11(3) Whether for gain, hire, reward, or gratuitously, or otherwise,
12receives, holds, or forwards, or purports or pretends to receive,
13hold, or forward, in any manner whatsoever, any money, thing or
14consideration of value, or the equivalent or memorandum thereof,
15staked, pledged, bet or wagered, or to be staked, pledged, bet or
16wagered, or offered for the purpose of being staked, pledged, bet
17or wagered, upon the result, or purported result, of any trial, or
18purported trial, or contest, or purported contest, of skill, speed, or
19power of endurance of person or animal, or between persons,
20animals, or mechanical apparatus, or upon the result, or purported
21result, of any lot, chance, casualty, unknown or contingent event
23(4) Whether for gain, hire, reward, or gratuitously, or otherwise,
24at any time or place, records, or registers any bet or bets, wager
25or wagers, upon the result, or purported result, of any trial, or
26purported trial, or contest, or purported contest, of skill, speed, or
27power of endurance of person or animal, or between persons,
28animals, or mechanical apparatus, or upon the result, or purported
29result, of any lot, chance, casualty, unknown or contingent event
31(5) Being the owner, lessee or occupant of any room, shed,
32tenement, tent, booth, building, float, vessel, place, stand, enclosure
33or grounds, or any part thereof, whether for gain, hire, reward, or
34 gratuitously, or otherwise, permits that space to be used or occupied
35for any purpose, or in any manner prohibited by paragraph (1),
36(2), (3), or (4).
37(6) Lays, makes, offers or accepts any bet or bets, or wager or
38wagers, upon the result, or purported result, of any trial, or
39purported trial, or contest, or purported contest, of skill, speed or
P14 1power of endurance of person or animal, or between persons,
2animals, or mechanical apparatus.
3(b) In any accusatory pleading charging a violation of this
4section, if the defendant has been once previously convicted of a
5violation of any subdivision of this section, the previous conviction
6shall be charged in the accusatory pleading, and, if the previous
7conviction is found to be true by the jury, upon a jury trial, or by
8the court, upon a court trial, or is admitted by the defendant, the
9defendant shall, if he or she is not imprisoned in the state prison,
10be imprisoned in the county jail for a period of not more than one
11year and pay a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000)
12and not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Nothing in this
13paragraph shall prohibit a court from placing a person subject to
14this subdivision on probation. However, that person shall be
15required to pay a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000)
16nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or be imprisoned in
17the county jail for a period of not more than one year, as a condition
18thereof. In no event does the court have the power to absolve a
19person convicted pursuant to this subdivision from either being
20imprisoned or from paying a fine of not less than one thousand
21dollars ($1,000) and not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
22(c) In any accusatory pleading charging a violation of this
23section, if the defendant has been previously convicted two or
24more times of a violation of any subdivision of this section, each
25previous conviction shall be charged in the accusatory pleadings.
26If two or more of the previous convictions are found to be true by
27the jury, upon a jury trial, or by the court, upon a court trial, or are
28admitted by the defendant, the defendant shall, if he or she is not
29imprisoned in the state prison, be imprisoned in the county jail for
30a period of not more than one year or pay a fine of not less than
31one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than fifteen thousand
32dollars ($15,000), or be punished by both imprisonment and fine.
33Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit a court from placing a
34person subject to this subdivision on probation. However, that
35person shall be required to pay a fine of not less than one thousand
36dollars ($1,000) nor more than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000),
37or be imprisoned in the county jail for a period of not more than
38one year as a condition thereof. In no event does the court have
39the power to absolve a person convicted and subject to this
P15 1subdivision from either being imprisoned or from paying a fine of
2not more than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).
3(d) Except where the existence of a previous conviction of any
4subdivision of this section was not admitted or not found to be true
5pursuant to this section, or the court finds that a prior conviction
6was invalid, the court shall not strike or dismiss any prior
7convictions alleged in the information or indictment.
8(e) This section
applies not only to persons who commit any of
9the acts designated in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of
10subdivision (a), as a business or occupation, but also applies to
11every person who in a single instance engages in any one of the
12acts specified in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision
The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of
15this act, which adds Section 19776 to the Business and Professions
16Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the
17meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and
18agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the
19California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision,
20the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the
21interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting
23The limitations on the people’s right of access set forth in this
24 act are necessary to protect the privacy and integrity of information
25submitted by registered players as well as the proprietary
26information of the license applicants and licensed operators.