Massachusetts looking to Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports
Tuesday October 20,2015 : MASSACHUSETTS WEIGHS DAILY FANTASY SPORTS REGULATION
Governor and state legislative leaders discuss the way forward.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's recent finding that daily fantasy sports is on the face of it not illegal in terms of the UIGEA notwithstanding, political leaders in the state are currently weighing whether to regulate it or not.
The Associated Press news agency reports that Governor Charlie Baker and top legislative leaders Senate President Stan Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo are discussing the implications of such a move, and await the state Attorney General's input.
A spokesperson for the state AG noted Monday:
“The federal statute dealing with unlawful Internet gambling left to the states the ability to regulate fantasy sports. We are seeking extensive information about the industry and have spoken with the leading companies directly as part of this review. There is little question that this industry will need to be regulated in order to protect consumers.”
Sen. Rosenberg has already said he believes fantasy sports websites amount to gambling and should be regulated and taxed in Massachusetts.
Governor Baker said he will await the AG's input, but commented:
“Does a game that involves a significant amount of thinking, strategizing tactics and risk fall into the existing statute or not? That’s something we can ask her and I think we probably should.”
In related news, state lottery officials in Georgia have questioned whether the daily fantasy sports industry can legally operate in the state.
The Associated Press quotes Georgia Lottery attorney Joseph Kim in a report Monday in which he claims that DFS companies appear to violate Georgia law, and says that gaming is generally banned by Georgia's constitution, except for state lottery-run games.
Kim told AP that he had communicated with DraftKings and FanDuel on the issue, giving them until October 16 to respond, but that they had not done so. He is therefore considering the next step his state could take.