SBD/August 1, 2017/Sports in Society

Massachusetts Commission Recommends Daily Fantasy Be Classified As Gambling

A divided Massachusetts state commission yesterday "voted to recommend classifying daily fantasy sports contests as gambling, a setback for DraftKings," which may now have to "fight in its home state against a designation it says could threaten its business," according to Andy Rosen of the BOSTON GLOBE. The panel "called on the Legislature to permanently legalize the games and consider additional oversight of their operations." The commission also said that the games "should be subject to gambling rules." The report said that "any game with money on the line is gambling." Being treated as a gambling company could "create tax liabilities for operators and raise concerns among their payment processors." DraftKings officials and other industry execs said that it would "also likely embolden the industry’s opponents in other states and at the federal level." The report "recommended that only daily fantasy be made legal for now, but concluded that 'legalization of additional online gaming is inevitable'" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/1). Fantasy Sports Trade Association Chair Peter Schoenke said, "The recommendations would take Massachusetts from being perhaps the best environment for our industry to being one of the most problematic." He added, "The specter of gambling is very problematic for our industry" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/1).
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