Reports have surfaced today that reveal late last night, the state of Massachusetts passed a bill in regards to the daily fantasy sports industry. The General Court agreed to pass a measure that provides legalization of the activity for players of the state. It seems the measure came out of nowhere and now just needs to be signed by Governor Charlie Baker to become law.
H 4569 is an economic development package of the state that included provisions in regards to the fantasy sports industry. Legislature was in a hurry to pass measures and did so with this one on the last day of the current session. The House passed the bill late Sunday night with a unanimous vote while the Senate passed the bill as well with just one vote for No.
Back in July, it was being discussed as to whether or not a study should be commissioned on the subject of fantasy sports to be included in the economic package. It seems this study was never started but fantasy sports was added to the package as an amendment anyway.
Unlike other bills involving daily fantasy sports in the United States, the measure in Massachusetts does not seek to regulate the industry and also does not charge a fee for licensing or taxes. The bill includes language that coincides with regulations created by Attorney General Maura Healey from 2015 when she decided DFS gaming was legal.
With the language of the measure, an operator of fantasy sports can provide contests that offer cash prizes in a legal sense until July 31st of 2018. The activity can take place as long as the contests are in accordance to regulations promulgated by the AG.
As part of the bill, a special commission will be created to study the industry as well as online gambling. Every aspect of online gaming as well as daily fantasy sports and fantasy sports gaming will be reviewed by the commission. Subjects to consider will include regulatory structures, implications for existing gaming, consumer protection, economic development, etc.
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