Daily Fantasy

Massachusetts Announces DFS Regulations

By March 31, 2016April 8th, 2016No Comments
Fantasy Advice in 2016

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has officially provided new rules and provisions to oversee DFS in the state.

For any DFS provider that plans to offer games in the state they must comply with the new regulations by July 1, 2016.

Here's an overview of the regulations in Massachusetts:

  • Operators can only accept players that are over 21 years of age.
  • Operators cannot offer DFS contests based on college fames, or any other amateur sporting event. Both DraftKings and FanDuel have reached an agreement with the NCAA to end their college DFS offerings.
  • Employees and "contractors" cannot play DFS contests.
  • Operators must meet “truth in advertising” standards.
  • Operators must institute “problem gaming” protocols, including the ability to self exclude from a site.
  • Operators must stop players that attempt to access the sites via proxy servers.
  • Deposits must be limited to $1,000 in a calendar month, but sites may publish procedures for users wanting to increase their deposit limit.
  • Operators cannot issue credit to users.
  • Sites must offer “beginner” games and keep “non-beginners” out of said contests.
  • “Highly experienced” players must be visually identified on a site.
  • Users cannot use unauthorized third-party scripts in order to enter contests or alter their entries. Scripts must be authorized by a DFS operator and be made available to all players.
  • The amount of entries a user can submit in a single contest is the lesser of 150 entries, or 3% of all entries, with some exceptions.

This list of regulations comes courtesy of Legal Sports Report and from the full regulations list here.

Some important notes in the legislation include the requirement that companies keep your deposited money separate from their operational account and for putting a monthly deposit limit in place.

It appears that season-long fantasy operators appear to be exempted from all of these regulations. Of course, we're not lawyers so if this applies to you ensure you check with your legal team.

DraftKings had this comment:

DraftKings, Inc. today announced its plan to fully comply with the final regulations put forth by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, signaling the company’s ongoing commitment to consumer protections, regulatory engagement, and continued responsiveness to AG Healey and her office.

DraftKings has already voluntarily implemented many of the consumer protections contained in the final regulations, including prohibiting DraftKings’ employees from playing in public contests for money and allowing players to put self-imposed deposit limits on their individual accounts.  The company will continue to work diligently to ensure it is in compliance with the full set of regulations as soon as possible.     

“We appreciate the leadership of the Attorney General and her office and their willingness to have a meaningful dialogue about issues of importance to our industry,” said DraftKings Chief Financial Officer, Tim Dent. “The regulations put forth today by Attorney General Healy are tough, but we will comply. We will continue to work with policymakers across the country to ensure that fantasy contests are fun and fair for the tens of millions of sports fans who enjoy playing them.”

Former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said, “This is an impressive example of a company’s commitment to being responsive to its regulators. The fact that this process took place in only five months is a credit to all the parties involved here.

FanDuel echoed their sentiment and said:

We want to thank Attorney General Healey for her deliberate, comprehensive approach to ensuring the viability of fantasy sports in Massachusetts and protecting consumers in the state. The Attorney General requested and carefully reviewed comments from the fantasy sports industry and consumer protection advocates over the past 60 days, and made sensible adjustments to several provisions, which will ultimately benefit consumers. Although we share the goal of protecting consumers, we have concerns the regulations, in some instances, will restrict the ability to introduce new pro-consumer innovations. Nevertheless, we will work diligently to ensure we are in full compliance, and hope to see the regulations evolve over time to continue to allow further innovation.

“Again, the Attorney General took a thoughtful approach from the beginning, and we look forward to working with lawmakers across the country in a similar manner. We fully support sensible regulations to protect consumers and ensure sports fans nationwide can continue playing the games they love.

Are you happy with the new rules in Massachusetts? Do you think they should help formulate DFS laws and regulations around the country?

Nick Schreck