The following is a Toledo Blade editorial printed December 3, 2017:

A bill likely to reach Gov. John Kasich’s office by year’s end would regulate for-profit fantasy sports operations such as FanDuels and DraftKings for the first time in Ohio.

It’s a well-written piece of legislation. The bill’s primary sponsors, Reps. Jonathan Dever (R., Madeira) and Robert McColley (R., Napoleon), have heard concerns on both sides of the issue and addressed them thoroughly and sensibly.

One of the pitfalls that might have been overlooked is the potential for fantasy sports employees to benefit from their insider knowledge. If player X is making excellent choices on DraftKings, a DraftKings employee shouldn’t be able to take X’s picks and play them on FanDuel. The House’s proposal directs the casino control commission to create rules prohibiting that behavior.

At the same time, however, the bill avoids the heavy-handedness that so often accompanies legislators’ first regulatory forays into new industries. Work colleagues setting up an office betting pool, for example, won’t have to worry about attracting the notice of the casino commission. The bill specifically exempts pools where all the money is paid out in prizes, which should protect casual betting.

Well-oiled regulatory systems don’t just spring into existence after the passage of a bill — implementing them takes time. This bill acknowledges that reality, making sure existing operators can keep their games up and running until they can seek licenses.

Poorly conceived, if not simply corrupt, legislation is everywhere in the news today. So this kind of foresight and thoughtfulness on the part of Ohio’s lawmakers, responding to a new and complex regulatory challenge of the digital age, is heartening.

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