Massachusetts Legislators Consider Daily Fantasy Sports Bill During Hearing

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In the state of Massachusetts, daily fantasy sports were temporarily legalized in 2016, with an end date set for July 31st 2018. Because of this deadline, legislation has been crafted to see DFS become permanently regulated in the state. Senator Eileen Donoghue created S2273, a bill that would exempt daily fantasy sports from a ban involving illegal gambling. The bill was recently discussed during a Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies hearing.

Daily fantasy sports was temporarily legalized in 2016 and Donoghue’s bill would set permanent regulations for the activity. The bill would require providers of daily fantasy sports like FanDuel and DraftKings to register within the Gaming Commission and pay a fee for registration for as much as $100,000. When a provider is given approval, they would be able to operate in the state, paying a 15% tax on revenues. This is lower than the tax rate set for casinos, which sits at 25%.

During the hearing, Senator Donoghue testified that providers of daily fantasy sports should have the support of the state due to what they can bring to the commonwealth. DraftKings is a prime example, as the company is based in Boston and already employs over 400 people and plans to increase that number to 700 by next year.

Donoghue further stated that the bill would create a balance between promoting DFS and protecting residents who take part. While permanently legalizing DFS does not come without risks, the Senator pointed out that if it is done correctly it will provide unique benefits.

The director of the State Lottery was also on hand, asking that the legislation include provisions to help promote the lottery online. Michael Sweeney wants to see DFS providers link the lottery within their site. Sweeney would also like to see the Lottery able to provide approval for operators of DFS gaming.

The bill created by Donoghue will not include e-sports and online casino games, but it does consider sports betting if the option is legalized nationwide.

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