Daily fantasy sport sites have faced a streak of non-stop scrutiny for the past month, but the situation is improving for sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey will allow such companies to operate in the state under a set of new rules. Those include disallowing anyone under the age of 21 from participating in the activity, which regulators have likened to online gambling, and banning advertisements and promotions aimed at college campuses. Professional athletes and others in the pro sports industry are also barred from playing. Healey's office announced the rules today after a week of deliberation, according to Boston-based WCVB-TV.
The news should please an embittered DraftKings and FanDuel, both of which have been facing mounting opposition in New York, the largest state in the country for daily fantasy sports. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been exercising his legal authority to try and shut down the companies' operations under a state law that bans sports gambling. Through cease-and-desist letters and a preliminary injunction filed this week, Schneiderman has succeeded in suspending FanDuel's operations and halting payments made to DraftKings. A court hearing set for November 25th will determine whether the activity constitutes gambling and is therefore illegal. Both DraftKings and FanDuel insist the act of daily fantasy, which involves betting money on imaginary teams dictated by real-world sporting outcomes, is a skill-based activity.
Unlike New York, Massachusetts gives daily fantasy the green light
Massachusetts marks the second state to offer DraftKings and FanDuel an avenue to operate legally. Last month Nevada became the first state to challenge the daily fantasy sports industry, but only asked that the companies apply for a license to operate betting pools with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. More states in the US may weigh in with their own regulations since wagering on sporting outcomes is not federally regulated by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 and differs state by state.