Created by Executive Order 2011-01K, the Common Sense Initiative (CSI), and Senate Bill 2 of the 129th General Assembly, require state agencies, including the Casino Control Commission, to draft rules in collaboration with stakeholders, assess and justify any adverse impact on the business community (as defined by Senate Bill 2), and provide opportunity for the affected public to provide input on the rules.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission submitted the following proposed rules to the CSI office for review on March 20, 2019:
Brief Explanation of the Rules
Agency 3774 of the Administrative Code will contain the regulations for ensuring the integrity of fantasy contests in accordance with Chapter 3774. and division 3772.03(L) of the Revised Code. This package contains all currently contemplated rules for fantasy contests, and thus represents a comprehensive look at the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s (“Commission”) proposed regulatory framework. Chapter 3774-1 contains definitions and other rules of general applicability; Chapter 3774-2 contains rules related to licensure; Chapter 3774-3 contains rules related to compliance; and Chapter 3774-4 contains rules related to sanctions. These rules use the same general procedural framework the Commission is accustomed to with respect to its regulations, while substantively using regulations in place in the statute or other jurisdictions that the regulated community is accustomed to.
3774-1-01 – titled “Definitions.” This rule contains and its purpose is to provide consistent definitions that will govern Agency 3774 of the Administrative Code. It incorporates all definitions in section 3774.01 of the Revised Code and further defines certain terms like “advertisement,” “applicant,” “licensee,” “conduct,” or “participate in conducting” in accordance with how those terms are defined in the Commission’s other regulatory frameworks. Moreover, the rule further defines certain important terms contained in the statute and regulations including “fantasy contest operator employee,” “fantasy contest player funds,” “proposition selection,” and “roster.” For these terms, the Commission either borrowed from proposed or currently existing regulations in other states or worked with stakeholders to ensure the definitions met the standards in Chapter 3774. of the Revised Code, while taking into account present practice.
3774-1-02 – titled “Authority and purpose.” This rule covers and its purpose is to provide the general authority of the Commission to adopt rules ensuring the integrity of fantasy contests. The rule also further specifies how such rules will be adopted and contains authority for the Commission to delegate responsibilities to the Executive Director and other employees in accordance with how the Commission does so under its other regulatory frameworks.
3774-1-03 – titled “Construction.” This rule states and its purpose is to provide the principles of construction that will govern Agency 3774 of the Administrative Code. These principles are in accordance with the Commission’s other regulatory frameworks.
3774-1-04 – titled “Access to records, examination under oath, and subpoena power.” This rule governs the Commission’s powers with respect to records, examinations, and subpoenas and is consistent with the Commission’s powers under its other regulatory frameworks. The purpose of this rule is to ensure the Commission has the tools in place to ensure the integrity of fantasy contest law.
3774-1-05 – titled “Waivers and variances.” This rule governs waivers and variances from Agency 3774 of the Administrative Code. The rule allows the Commission to waive any provision of these rules either on its own or upon a written request, if the waiver is in the best interest of the public. However, the rule makes clear that no person shall request to waive either the requirement to obtain a license or to pay a different fee amount than what is required for a license by rule. This rule also governs the form and process for all requests and waivers. Finally, the rule specifies that the Commission may condition any waivers that may be granted. The purpose of this rule is to give the Commission and the regulated community the flexibility to vary from requirements under Agency 3774 of the Administrative Code, while providing appropriate guardrails in so doing.
3774-2-01 – titled “General fantasy contest licensing requirements.” This rule contains the general fantasy contest licensing requirements, including the requirements for submitting an application and requirements to submit all information requested. The rule also defines the factors the Commission may consider in determining whether a person is eligible to obtain or maintain a license. These factors are consistent with the Commission’s other regulatory frameworks and with the factors considered in other state’s fantasy contest regulations and applications, including factors related to the operators financial, criminal, and administrative suitability as well as their compliance with requirements under fantasy contest law.
3774-2-02 – titled “Fantasy contest operator licensure.” This rule governs the process by which a person can seek to obtain or renew a fantasy contest operator license, including the fee that must be paid. This rule, consistent with the statute, allows fees to be paid in installments over the term of the license, while giving the Executive Director the ability to issue an emergency order should any operator fail to timely pay these installments. These fees are tiered to reflect the Commission’s cost of regulation. This purpose of this rule is to establish the fees and process for the Commission to issue fantasy contest operator licenses and to allow the Commission to cover regulatory costs while not establishing barriers to entry for smaller businesses.
3774-2-03 – titled “Management company licensure.” This rule governs the process by which a person seeks to obtain or renew a management company license, including the fee that must be paid. This rule largely mirrors the process and requirements for fantasy contest operators described above. However, the rule does contain an exception where management companies that are related through a joint venture, controlled by, or under the common control of a fantasy contest operator applicant will only need to pay one fee for the licensure of both applicants. The purpose of this rule is to establish the process and fees for the Commission to issue management company licenses.
3774-2-04 – titled “Duty to update information.” This rule requires applicants and licensees to update the Commission, in writing, of any information sought in the application from the submission of the application through any period of licensure granted. This rule is consistent with the Commission’s other regulatory frameworks and is a process that is utilized in other jurisdictions regulating fantasy contests. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that licensees stay suitable and eligible for licensure throughout their licensure period.
3774-3-01 – titled “Fantasy contest operator internal procedures.” This rule governs the procedural and substantive requirements for a fantasy contest operator’s internal procedures. These procedures are explicitly contained within Chapter 3774. of the Revised Code, are required in other jurisdictions, or otherwise ensure compliance with Ohio law. These procedures regard compliance with: state and federal privacy and online security requirements; providing players with information on playing responsibly; verifying player identity and prohibiting access to certain individuals; the segregation of player funds from operational funds; beginning player protections; and operating a voluntary restriction program; in addition to others. Finally, the rule states that these procedures must be provided with any application for a fantasy contest operator license and all updates to the internal procedures shall be made available to the Commission. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that fantasy contest operators comply with fantasy contest law while giving them the flexibility to do so in a way that comports with their internal structure and workings.
3774-3-01.1 – titled “Initial internal procedures submissions.” This rule is a temporary rule in which the Commission has built in additional time for first-time applicants to provide internal procedures to the Commission. The purpose of this rule is to enable first-time applicants extra time in which to ensure their internal procedures comply with Ohio law while still comporting with the statutory safe harbor created in section 3 of House Bill 132 of the 132nd General Assembly.
3774-3-02 – titled “Prohibited activities.” This rule states certain prohibitions under fantasy contest law, including operating or promoting a fantasy contest without a license, operating under names not provided to the Commission, extending credit to players, failing to provide requested information to the Commission, or making false statements to the Commission. This rule also prohibits certain conduct that would lead to fantasy contests not being based on the skill of fantasy contest players, as required by statute. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that fantasy contests are only offered by those authorized to do so and that those who are authorized to offer fantasy contests do so in accordance with fantasy contest law and any guidance issued by the Commission.
3774-3-03 – titled “Duties of fantasy contest operators.” This rule contains certain duties of fantasy contests operators. Operators must provide patrons with the rules and terms of fantasy contests and comply with those rules and terms and also comply with their own internal controls. Operators must also train their employees in such a manner that those employees will comply with all fantasy contest law related to each employee’s function. Operators must also provide documentation of patron fund protection every six months, ensure the proper maintenance of records, and notify the Commission of any intent to cease doing business in the state, including how patron funds will be distributed to their rightful owners. Finally, operators must comply with notices and directives from the commission, ensure prompt responses to the Commission, and notify the Commission of any violations of fantasy contest law. The purpose of this law is to ensure that fantasy contest operators comply with fantasy contest law and facilitate the Commission in its goal to ensure the integrity of fantasy contests.
3774-3-04 – titled “Duties of key employees.” This rule contains certain duties of key employees. These duties include serving as the representative of the operator, ensuring the operator timely meets all filing deadlines, ensuring the operator issues prompt response to the Commission, notifying the Commission of any violations of fantasy contests law, and complying with all notices or directives from the Commission. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that key employees comply with fantasy contest law and facilitate the Commission in its goal to ensure the integrity of fantasy contests.
3774-3-05 – titled “Duties of management company applicants or licensees.” This rule contains certain duties of management company applicants or licensees. These duties include ensuring the fantasy contest operator associated with the management company is compliant with fantasy contest law, notifying the Commission of any violations of fantasy contests law, retaining all records required by law, promptly responding to all inquiries from the Commission, and complying with all notices or directives from the Commission. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that management company applicants or licensees comply with fantasy contest law and facilitate the Commission in its goal to ensure the integrity of casino fantasy contests.
3774-3-06 – titled “Inspection and audits.” This rule details the process by which fantasy contest operators will obtain third-party audits to be conducted by approved, qualified certified public accountants in good standing. These audits are to be conducted and provided once every year for financial audits and once every three years for compliance audits. The audits are to be submitted directly to the Commission when they are made available to the operator. The rule allows the Executive Director to waive any audit requirements under the rule, provided sufficient reason is given by the operator and instead allows the operator to have the Commission conduct any audits. Finally, the rule provides that the Commission may require any production of documents or inspections needed from those participating in the conduct of fantasy contests and that those persons shall cooperate with such requirements. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that operators are complying with fantasy contest law through the use of audits and inspections.
3774-3-07 – titled “Advertising.” This rule governs advertisements by fantasy contest operators. Operators must accurately depict certain representations made, must include information on playing responsibly, and must clearly and conspicuously state any material or limiting terms. Operators must not prominently depict anyone under the age of eighteen; an endorsement of any amateur sporting league, event, or athlete; or contests that are not compliant with the law. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that fantasy contest advertisements are not misleading, are compliant with fantasy contest law, and provide information to individuals in need of assistance.
3774-4-01 – titled “Hearings.” This rule governs any administrative action taken under fantasy contest law and provides that the provisions of R.C. Chapter 119 and Chapter 3772-21 of the Administrative Code will apply. These rules currently apply in any administrative action taken under the Commission’s other regulatory frameworks. The purpose of this rule is to ensure compliance with the due process of law as articulated in R.C. Chapter 119.
3774-4-02 – titled “Sanctions.” This rule states the reasons for which a person may be sanctioned, including violating the law, engaging in fraud or misrepresentation, failing to cooperate with the Commission or certain terms or conditions imposed by the Commission, failing to comply with commission attempts to investigate, or engaging in other conduct that undermines the integrity of fantasy contest law. The rule also spells out certain sanctions that may be imposed, including actions against the person’s license or the person’s conduct, fines, or monetary civil penalties. The purpose of the rule is to permit the Commission to effectively regulate the integrity of fantasy contests by ensuring that those who violate fantasy contest law are held accountable.
Associated CSI Documents
Business Impact Analysis
Contact Information for Comments
The Commission welcomes comments regarding these proposed rules. To ensure your comments are considered as part of the Common Sense Initiative (“CSI”) review period, the Commission should receive them no later than April 3.
Any questions or comments with respect to these rules may be directed to William Cox via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or U.S. Mail at 100 East Broad Street, 20th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Comments may also be directed to the CSI Office at email@example.com.
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