Maine considers regulating fantasy sports gambling

Maine lawmakers met with representatives of companies running daily fantasy sports websites.

US.- At last week’s meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Chicago, some Maine legislators met with representatives of companies running daily fantasy sports (DFS) websites.

One study estimated US$2.6 billion in entry fees nationally were paid last year and that it will grow to more than US$14 billion by 2020. Some states are passing laws to regulate the gambling sites whilst others are leveraging existing laws such as the Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Republican state Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta commented that since DFS it’s a growing business with more than 57 million players nationally, it may deserve a closer look. “Should there be some regulation of these leagues to make sure that consumers are being protected when these leagues come into a state?” said Katz. “Secondly, is this a possible revenue source as well?”

Furthermore, Katz has submitted a bill title for consideration in the next session so that Maine will take a look at all of the issues surrounding regulating DFS gambling. The Senator does not have to submit a detailed proposal until after the session is underway. According to Katz, K with the right safeguards, fantasy sports revenues could generate additional income for state coffers. Several states are projecting a few million dollars a year from regulating and taxing fantasy sports leagues.

Meanwhile, State Rep. Matt Pouilot of Augusta, who also was at the meeting in Chicago, believes Mainers deserve some protection. “There was some pretty big blow up with DraftKings and, you know, a while back with some reports of insider baseball, no pun intended, going on with one of their employees,” he said.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills said the state’s criminal code is ambiguous about whether DFS betting is a game of chance or a game of skill. She believes that is an issue that must be clarified. Mills added that lawmakers should consider limiting how much can be bet, who can play and requiring disclaimers to reveal the odds of winning.