November 16, 2015
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has definitively come down on the side of fantasy sports. Last week, the Governor announced that to get a sense of what fantasy sports contests are all about, he participated in an online contest and believes the contests to be legal games of skill.
What are the potential implications of the Governor’s announcement?
The Governor’s announcement follows a recent development, on which we have previously blogged, involving the Massachusetts’ Attorney General’s determination that there are no federal or state laws that prohibit fantasy sports websites from operating within the State. In a win for the industry, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey ultimately announced that her Office has no intention of pursuing any inquiries into Boston-based DraftKings, shutting down operators, or prosecuting any citizens who fear they may have otherwise been breaking State gambling laws. The Governor has now thrown his support behind the Attorney General’s opinion, while also announcing that he is awaiting further guidance from the Attorney General regarding the State’s regulatory environment before making a determination on whether the State may pursue some form of industry regulation.
Keep Your Fantasy Sports Venture Legal
As the fantasy sports industry, and the laws and regulations that govern it, continue to grow and evolve, it is essential that fantasy sports operators keep abreast of the developing legal landscape. In addition to the recent announcements coming out of Massachusetts, Washington State has announced possible legalization efforts, Illinois and California have indicated an inclination towards regulating the industry within their respective borders, and Congress has recently announced its intention to conduct fantasy sports-related hearings. Accordingly, operators should regularly review their respective contest platforms, entry fees, prize structures and marketing campaigns with knowledgeable counsel in order to effectively navigate this rapidly changing regulatory framework.
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