Friday December 11,2015 : DAILY FANTASY SPORTS FIRMS SUPPORT MASSACHUSETTS REGULATION (Update)
State AG's ideas on a regulatory framework appear reasonable, say operators.
The stage may have been set for daily fantasy sport regulation at an informational forum conducted by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Thursday, with representatives from major DFS companies DraftKings and FanDuel both appearing to support regulatory suggestions put forward by the Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey.
Zakary Cutler, director of product management for Boston's DraftKings, said regulations proposed by the state's attorney general appear "reasonable" and "pretty thorough," whilst Stephen Martino, a lawyer for New York-based FanDuel, agreed, suggesting Massachusetts's approach could be a template for other states to follow.
"We firmly believe this is a game of skill that's legal in Massachusetts and should be subject to reasonable regulations," former state Attorney General Martha Coakley, who now serves as legal counsel to DraftKings, said.
Both companies committed to providing detailed responses to Healey's recommendations ahead of a hearing scheduled for next month on the DFS issue.
Healey's suggestions include age restrictions for DFS players, disclosure of net winnings, strong data protection measures, a prohibition on college sports in DFS competitions and programs to help problem gamblers, among other requirements.
Stephen Crosby, chairman of the Commission, commented in closing the proceedings:
"What we heard today is that they [DFS firms] need to know the rules of the road. So as long as the rules are, in their terms, commercially viable and technologically feasible, they will welcome them. That seems like a perfectly reasonable starting point."
The hearing is part of the Commission's efforts to develop a policy paper on daily fantasy sports for consideration by Massachusetts lawmakers and other elected leaders.
Daniel Wallach, an attorney who does not currently work for fantasy sports companies, pointed to the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and cautioned:
"One thing a state cannot do is license a sports-gambling sports wagering scheme." He added that states can decriminalise and regulate daily fantasy sports but "cannot authorize or license it."
In an interesting comment that could reveal one direction the Commission is considering, chairman Stephen Crosby asked whether lawmakers should consider drafting an omnibus bill regulating internet gambling:
"Would it make sense for the Legislature to try to craft an omnibus regulatory bill for all of these new electronic gaming technologies – because there's so many of them?" Crosby asked.
"If they could craft a bill, which incorporated regulatory priorities, fundamental values, whatever, that could be applied to all of these games – e-sports, daily fantasy sports, online poker, whatever all the new ones are – maybe then they could give it to some agency to implement, and the agency does the grunt work every six months making it apply to whatever the new technology is."