Nebraska state senator Justin Wayne has introduced a bill that would define sports betting, paid fantasy sports and poker as games of skill.
The bill, LB990, would effectively legalise the games under Nebraska law, where most forms of gambling are not currently permitted, but games of skill are allowed.
The text of the bill said that the knowledge required in sports betting and fantasy sports mean they should be categorized as a game of skill rather than chance.
“Sports betting and fantasy sports require knowledge and skill,” it said. “Knowledge of a sport and skill in analyzing and predicting the performance of athletes and the outcomes of sporting events is essential for a participant in sports betting or fantasy sports to be successful.”
The bill also that that, while poker involves elements of chance, it too is a game of skill.
“Certain poker games also require knowledge and skill,” the bill said. “While poker does have a random component in the cards that are dealt to participants, there is more skill than chance necessary for successful participation in a game where strategic decisions influence the other participants and ultimately the outcome of the game.”
The bill did not make mention distinction between online and land-based games.
Under the bill, operators would need to register with the Charitable Gaming Division of the Nebraska Department of Revenue and pay a $10,000 registration fee. Operators will also be required to pay a registration fee of either 6% of GGR or $10,000, whichever is lower.
The funds from these registration fees will be used to reduce the property taxes that fund schools in Nebraska.