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Ohio moving to regulate fantasy sports ahead of NFL season

Ohioans who fashion themselves digital Bill Belichicks or Terry Franconas could have to draft their fantasy teams themselves rather than leaving it to their computers to do the work.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission’s draft rules for fantasy sports wagering in Ohio bans players from using “autodraft,” which allows a player to enter a contest and randomly select the players on their roster in some games.

That rule would apply only to contests in which participants put money on the line and the operator takes a cut, though. Office pools and leagues among friends in which each participant pays to enter and the entire pot is paid out, for example, would not be affected, said Jessica Franks, the commission’s spokeswoman.

“It removes that skill component,” Franks said of autodrafting. “It no longer meets with the requirement of the law.”

In March 2018, the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill requiring fantasy sports operators to obtain a state license, banning contests based on youth and college sports and leaving it to the Casino Control Commission to regulate the industry.

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