STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2524
RE: S.B. No. 2429
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2016
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 2429 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO FANTASY COMPETITIONS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish the offense of promoting fantasy competition as a violation and create an affirmative defense to the offense under limited situations; and
(2) Add a definition of "fantasy competition" to section 712-1220, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu; Police Department, City and County of Honolulu; Hawai‘i Coalition Against Legalized Gambling; Hawaii Family Forum; and League of Women Voters of Hawaii. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General.
Your Committee finds that a fantasy competition is a contest in which individuals create fictitious sports teams within a particular professional or collegiate sport and serve as the owner, coach, or manager of their own fictitious team. These fictitious teams compete against each other using real world statistics for each athlete. The Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu testified that although fantasy sports competitions are based on statistical performances of real athletes in real sporting events, fantasy sports competitions are a form of gambling. Accordingly, this measure makes the offense of promoting fantasy competition a violation.
Your Committee notes the testimony from the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu and Department of the Attorney General that this measure is unnecessary because existing state gambling laws include similar charges to the proposed offense of promoting fantasy competition. Your Committee further notes the testimony from the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu that the definition of "contest of chance" includes fantasy competitions because there is a material degree of chance involved when the fantasy competition is based on the future performance of real world athletes.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting language that would have established the offense of promoting fantasy competition as a violation and would have created an affirmative defense under limited situations;
(2) Including fantasy competitions in the definition of "contest of chance" in section 712-1220, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2429, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2429, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,
GILBERT S.C. KEITH-AGARAN, Chair