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Massachusetts Becomes Third State To Regulate DFS

Bay State's Attorney General Issues New Rules On Games


Following similar moves by Virginia and Indiana, the state of Massachusetts on Friday announced regulations for the booming daily fantasy sports industry.

The regulations were expected for quite some time from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and they could help further the push for online poker. The purpose of the move to regulate DFS was to “protect Massachusetts consumers who play daily fantasy sports contests for prizes from unfair and deceptive acts and practices that may arise in the gaming process,” as well as players from “unaffordable losses.”

Players must be at least 21, and the DFS sites cannot hold contests on high school or collegiate sports. The new rules must be adopted by DFS sites by July 1.

Unlike Virginia and Indiana, the legislature in Massachusetts didn’t pass a bill for DFS. The Bay State instead went through the AG’s office to put some oversight on the industry. That difference means that Massachusetts, for now, won’t be taxing or getting licensing fees from DFS operators.

“We appreciate the leadership of the Attorney General and her office and their willingness to have a meaningful dialogue about issues of importance to our industry,” DraftKings said in a statement. “The regulations put forth today by Attorney General Healy are tough, but we will comply. We will continue to work with policymakers across the country to ensure that fantasy contests are fun and fair for the tens of millions of sports fans who enjoy playing them.”

FanDuel said in a statement: “We want to thank Attorney General Healey for her deliberate, comprehensive approach to ensuring the viability of fantasy sports in Massachusetts and protecting consumers in the state. The Attorney General requested and carefully reviewed comments from the fantasy sports industry and consumer protection advocates over the past 60 days, and made sensible adjustments to several provisions, which will ultimately benefit consumers. Although we share the goal of protecting consumers, we have concerns the regulations, in some instances, will restrict the ability to introduce new pro-consumer innovations. Nevertheless, we will work diligently to ensure we are in full compliance, and hope to see the regulations evolve over time to continue to allow further innovation."

While the moves by Virginia, Indiana and Massachusetts are good news for the DFS industry, all eyes are on New York as it works toward a DFS bill. Both DraftKings and FanDuel last week agreed to stop running contests for New Yorkers while Empire State lawmakers advance legislation. The settlement came after New York’s attorney general said last year that DFS is illegal.

New York, which has 19.75 million residents, represents nearly 13 percent of the active users for the DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel. DraftKings is headquartered in Boston. Another key state is California, which has a DFS bill on the table. The California Attorney General hasn’t yet decided if DFS is legal under current Golden State law, however.

Other states considering action on DFS include Mississippi and Maryland, the latter of which could go the route of having voters decide in November whether the games are OK.

According to Eilers Research, the DFS market could be as large as $2.5 billion by 2020.

Tags: Massachusetts,   DFS,   DFSNews


7 months ago

This is ridiculous! Since Black Friday we as American poker players have been waiting patiently for poker to become legal and 5 years down the road we basically have gotten no where with poker legalization but with fantasy sports we seem to instantly have 3 states already in the loop! How is this even possible Cardplayer? We need a pro to comment on this because I literally can't believe it's this easy for Fantasy Sports but when it comes to Poker it's a dead end for us and we must break the law in order to play poker! Fantasy Sports does indeed have skill involved but this only matters for the top 1% of people betting on fantasy sports considering the other 99% are regular people who would never have enough time to put enough time into Fantasy Sports to acquire enough skill to where it matters. It's a proven stat that a very small majority of people who bet on sports actually are winning bettors over a long period of time and it's about 1% which is why sports betting is much different than poker. Fantasy Sports betting is the exact same as betting a spread on a game. When 5,000 people play a $2 DFS tournament on a sunday there is no edge or it's very small because there are so many possiblities but in a poker tournament with 5,000 and a $2 buy in the edge is big for good players. Im going to giva a small example here of why poker involves so much more skill than DFS::: Everyone folds to me on the button in poker I have J9 off I raise and both blinds call me, Flop comes J 6 8 they both check I bet they both call turn is a 2 both blinds check I bet SB calls BB reraises a decent amount I think about it and decide I'm beat and fold and the SB ends up calling 2 more bets from the BB and loses with 1010 vs 66(a set of 6's for the BB). In this hand I had the SB beat with a pair of Jacks but even though I had the SB beat I folded and he ended up staying in with an inferior hand and losing a ood amount of chips. Me folding top pair and the SB calling with 1010 is where the skill lies in poker because it's about how you handle the hands your dealt not about what hands your dealt. IN DFS say I'm top 5 with 1st place paying $1k for a $2 tourney on DFS and I have Antonio Brown and I'm down by 9 points to first place then Brown catches a pass at the end of the game to try and get within field goal range to win the game but the thing is I need him to break it off for a TD not a 10 yd pass play then he proceeds to catch the 10 yd slant break 6 tackles and goes to the house for the TD so now I win my DFS for $1k! Both situations were much much different! But yet we have states jumping at the chance to regulate DFS but poker is just a fart in the wind right? This is suppose to be America where freedom reigns supreme but it's exactly the opposite! Even with legalizing it state by state is dumb! WHy would we want to play against only the people in our state when we should be able to play against anyone in the world? And why are States jumping at the bit to legalize DFS when it's inferior to poker as a game of skill? None of this makes sense and I'm truly believe now after 5 years that we as poker players are fucked! So they brought PokerSTars to NJ big fucking deal congrats you get to play on Pokerstars.......the only catch is guess what you have to play ONLY against people in the state of NJ!!!! What kind of shit is this! Are we as Americans free? Is America the best country in the world? Maybe 20 years ago when I was 9 but not now definitely not now! Freedom is a word used lightly when it shouldn't be! How exactly are we free? The people who know nothing decide poker is not a game of skill but DFS is and if we do regulate either one we must do it state by state! THey are treating it like drug revenue or something and they want the profits staying state by state! So they decide to legalize it only so each state can share profit not so we are able to make free choice such as play against anyone in the world on any site! Everything is about government profit period!!! Something has to be done! Some people might think hey at least we are slowly getting it back but my answer to that is what exactly are we getting back? We haven't gotten anything back! ANd I would go as far to say that we will never see those days again! We are going to be told how and where and when we can play which is what is happening right now and has been since 2011. Players had to leave America to play fucking online poker where they please wtf is that! Americans literally had to move out of the country to play on their preferred site! And who wouldn't want to play against the whole world on the #1 site in the world!But in the country of the free you can't do that instead it's more important that each state slowly gets brought in so they can make their profit each state at a time! I'm done ranting it's pointless no one does anything about it and I had hope in 2011 on black friday but every single day it looks worse & worse and there is no hope. Why would someone move to NJ to play on Stars and only play against NJ residents when you can move to Canada and play against everyone in the world on the same exact site? It's been so long that some people are actually happy we are getting anything at all and let me tell you this is exactly what the government wanted. My conclusion is that we are fucked and this issue over regulating DFS before poker is mind blowing especially considering they literally took all ideas from poker which you can see for yourself sunday million etc even the tourneys on DFS are exactly the same format as poker tournaments same payouts and all. Some double ups some deep tourneys some heads up DFS you name it it's there just like poker but yet let's worry about DFS first when actually less skill is involved and a smaller percentage actually benefit from paying DFS. My closing is I wish someone could do something about this but it won't happen and American poker players better plan for the ride if they aren't moving out of the country.


7 months ago

Sadly, this is an example of how "free enterprise" works in a corrupt America (and has for a long time). The reason DFS gets fast tracked by legislators is that it's sponsored, and financially backed, by a powerful cabal of professional sports leagues including the mighty NFL. The NFL not only has very powerful lobbyists (who spend millions every quarter on the Federal level alone), but has the top lawyers in the country working for them, and has had legal representation in the past from former Attorney Generals. Ironically, (and this will piss you off even more), it was NFL lobbyist Marty Gold who wrote and submitted UIGEA regulations which ultimately killed online poker. Why would they do that? At the time, the NFL was heavily invested in killing all online betting since they are terrified of a game fixing scandal and poker got killed in the process. Some theorize that the NFL was losing young viewers to the uber popular PokerStars Sunday tournaments,and was also a motivation for them, but that is just speculation by some.

Have you ever wondered why horse racing has legal online gambling and its pools can be co-mingled with international pools all over the world? Well, 2 primary reasons. Most state laws require a direct amount of all wagers go directly to the state, and most importantly, the people and farms who breed and sell horses are some of the wealthiest and most powerful people who have had political connections for over 4 generations. Trouble with online poker was, it was such a new phenomenon that there was no "old money"involved, and even though they had some powerful lobbyists too ( i.e.Jack Abramoff), they were no match for the competing interests that went against them , who ultimately went after their money supplies.

This is why only a true free market benefits the product and service qualities of the consumer, and more importantly their liberty. Regulation, although well intentioned conceptually, ultimately is used a powerful legal weapon to monopolize industries for the powerful entities who can influence politicians (who often get jobs from them when they leave office). All one has to do is look at the very recently passesd New York law to finally be the last state to legalize professional MMA. Why was it not allowed for over 20 years? Simple. The most powerful New York congressman for those years was Sheldon Silver, and the long time Democratic leader of the house was beholden to the unions that opposed the Fertitta's, and as sad as it is true, 1 legislator can have that kind of power. Thankfully, even a powerful corrupt politician like Silver can put his hand in the cookie jar once too often, and US Attorney Preet Baraha ultimately took him down and he was convicted and finally booted out of the NY Assembly. Baraha ironically, was the man who also brought the charges against PokerStars in 2011 which began the death of online poker in the US.