Sen. Fasano, Rep. Klarides Question Legal Repercussions of Authorizing & Taxing Fantasy Sports

September 14, 2017

Hartford – Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby)released the following statement questioning the legality of a Democrat proposal to authorize and tax fantasy sports.

“According to the state’s Attorney General, this is a proposal that comes with substantial risk to the state. In 2016 Attorney General Jepsen issued an opinion that concluded authorizing and taxing fantasy sports could jeopardize the state’s tribal compacts and slot revenue sharing agreement. Only the federal courts could resolve the issue and it would not rely on legislative findings. Also, even if the tribes agree not to challenge, the state could still be vulnerable to challenges by other parties, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs. So why are Democrats trying to balance the budget with new revenue from policies that put the state at risk? Was the Attorney General even consulted on this manner? After receiving the Attorney General’s opinion last year, even Sen. Looney agreed that he would not pursue this policy, saying: ‘Due to the risk and uncertainty that would result from a potential legal challenge, the prospect of passing legislation this session is unlikely.’ This is a hasty proposal part of one of the most non-transparent budget processes we have ever seen at the state Capitol. This demonstrates just how little thought has gone in to the Democrat budget that is still being crafted as we speak.”

Sen. Fasano and Rep. Klarides also wrote to the Attorney General regarding this proposal today.  Letter attached, along with 2016 opinion.