Fantasy Sports Trade Association Appoints Former Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris to Spearhead Fantasy Sports Control Agency
New agency charged with creating ethics and integrity system for fantasy sports industry
CHICAGO, Oct. 27, 2015 — The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), which has represented the industry since 1998, announced today that it will form the Fantasy Sports Control Agency (FSCA) and appoint Former Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris to chair the independent agency charged with creating a strict, transparent and effective system of self-regulation for the businesses that comprise the fantasy sports industry.
As an independent authority, the FSCA will be empowered by the FSTA to create a system consisting of four principal parts:
- Standards: Develop a system of standards for the fantasy sports industry founded on transparency, integrity and ethical behavior.
- Company Controls, Processes, and Leadership: Every FSTA member company will be expected to respond to the FSCA’s standards by establishing a system of controls and processes to ensure compliance. In addition, every member company will be expected to appoint a senior leader reporting to top executives and overseeing compliance efforts.
- Auditing Policies and Procedures: Implementation of a sound, regular auditing process to measure and report on company compliance.
- Enforcement: Establishment of a system that provides incentives and public recognition for compliance with FSCA guidelines and penalties for failure to comply.
Secretary Harris and representatives of the FSTA Board have held initial meetings with professional sports leagues and other key industry stakeholders who are supportive of the FSCA’s initial plan. The FSTA also announced it will retain a major accounting firm to monitor and audit the initiative.
“The issues and opportunities facing the fantasy sports industry can be best addressed through an independent agency supported by the industry and its members,” said Secretary Harris. “The FSTA will continue to work closely with state and federal lawmakers and regulators as we develop and implement strong integrity programs. We are confident that an independent control agency can prevent any unethical, dishonest, or unfair behavior. In the process, we can save lawmakers and regulators the cost and effort of intervening so that they can expend their limited resources on bigger and more societally important challenges.”
“Secretary Harris is an independent expert of unimpeachable credibility who has dedicated his career to ensuring fairness and a level playing field,” said FSTA President Paul Charchian. “The FSTA Board of Directors, which represents our 300 member companies, will give Secretary Harris and the FSCA the autonomy and control to evaluate our industry and create an effective and transparent monitoring and enforcement program. Fantasy sports are enjoyed by more than 50 million Americans, and our industry is committed to serving each of them with integrity.”
From 2009-2014, Secretary Harris served as the Deputy U.S. Secretary of Labor, and then as Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor and a member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet. Previously, he was a professor of law at New York Law School, director of its Labor and Employment Law programs, and a visiting professor of law at Seton Hall Law School. He received his Bachelor of Sciences degree from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University where he recently returned as a Distinguished Scholar teaching courses and conducting scholarly research. He is also a member of the Public Policy and Regulation practice at Dentons US LLP.
Founded in 1998, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA.org) is the international organization dedicated to the advancement of fantasy sports and in support of the hundreds of businesses and millions of fans that are engaged in fantasy sports. It has been at the forefront of legal issues that have existed between fantasy sports companies and professional leagues and players associations as well as dealing with numerous government related issues since its inception. The rotating 18-member Board of Directors is comprised of industry veterans, pioneers, and experts. With more than 300 member companies involved in the FSTA, current members include some of the world’s largest sports content/information and service companies as well as smaller companies that benefit from the extensive reach of the FSTA.