Earlier this week, the Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports of Massachusetts decided to release a draft of their report after studying daily fantasy sports. The Commission has decided to recommend that DFS be classified under the umbrella of ‘online gaming’ a classification that DraftKings is none too happy about.
The report seems to be relatively complete by the Commission but a final vote on the matter has been delayed until Monday July 31st. The Commission is recommending that DFS be placed in the online gaming category and that legislature permanently legalize the activity.
DraftKings is not happy with this classification as the DFS operator has fought heavily for the contests to be seen as games of skill. The company has complained to members of the committee and provided a statement to media outlets of their disapproval.
Bizjournals.com reported that in an interview, the Director of Public Affairs for DraftKings, James Chisholm, stated that he does not think the commission intends to litigate fantasy sports and he feels there was not an appreciation for the impact that the recommendation would have. Chisholm classified DraftKings as a growing tech company and being reclassified as online gaming would impact the way the company can grow and thrive in the Boston area as well as Massachusetts. DraftKings calls Boston home as there is where their headquarters are located.
If DFS were to be considered online gaming and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission were to provide regulations as recommended by the draft report, then the company and other DFS operators might be subjected to higher taxes like casinos pay and have to obtain an expensive gaming license in order to operate.
State Senator and Co-Chair of the Special Commission, Eileen Donoghue, stated that the vote for approval of the recommendations was delayed due to members of the commission wanting to have more time to study the report. She is respectfully in disagreement with the stance of DraftKings that they do not fall under the online gaming category as gaming is broadly defined under state law and does not have a distinction between games of chance and games of skill.
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