Daily Fantasy Sports: Massachusetts AG proposes tighter regulations
BOSTON >> Daily fantasy sports companies like FanDuel and Boston-based DraftKings would be allowed to continue operating in Massachusetts, but with age and advertising restrictions, disclosure requirements and other new rules proposed Thursday by the state's attorney general.
Maura Healey announced what she called an aggressive, first-in-the-nation plan to regulate the websites after her office spent several weeks reviewing whether the contests were legal in the state.
"This is an industry that cries out for transparency and robust consumer protection," she said. "These are games you carry around with you in your pocket and lose money at the touch of a button."
Among the regulations would be a ban on anyone under 21 participating and a ban on advertising or promotion of the contests at schools or college campuses. Professional athletes and others connected to pro sports would also be banned from entering contests in their particular sport.
Limit on deposits
Most players would be limited to depositing $1,000 per month on games, and the companies would be required to identify "highly-experienced" players on all contest platforms and offer "beginner" games that would be off limits to the more experienced players.
Contests involving college sports would also be banned in Massachusetts, and daily fantasy sports would be prohibited from extending credit to players.
In separate statements, FanDuel and DraftKings offered qualified support for Healey's proposals, with FanDuel saying they made "a tremendous amount of sense," and DraftKings calling them a "thoughtful and comprehensive approach" to fantasy sports.
DraftKings, without specifying, expressed some concerns with Healey's plan, and both companies said they would offer more feedback on it in the coming weeks. Both also indicated a willingness to work with other attorneys general, regulators and lawmakers to develop regulations around the country.
Several states have been scrutinizing daily fantasy sports recently, considering whether the games should be treated like other forms of gambling. The sites drew attention earlier this year with an ad blitz ahead of the NFL season — football is by far the most popular fantasy sport — and scandal after a DraftKings employee won $350,000 in a FanDuel contest. The companies say there was no wrongdoing, but lawmakers on several levels began questioning whether the games are or should be legal.
Nevada restricted daily fantasy sports there to those with gambling licenses, while New York's attorney general is challenging DraftKings and FanDuel there by calling the offerings illegal games of chance. DraftKings and FanDuel disagree and are arguing in the state's Supreme Court to stay open in one of their biggest customer bases.
Supporters of fantasy sports have long argued that a provision in a federal law allows them to operate freely in 45 states.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.