With the start of 2017, the regulations proposed in July of 2016 for daily fantasy sports in Maryland are now in effect. The State Comptroller Peter Franchot (pictured) announced this week that the regulations are now in play. A statement was released January 3rd on the matter.
In a statement, Franchot said that DFS games have a significant presence in the state. Because of this, it is appropriate that the basic rules are enforced to ensure that the games are fair, the appropriate taxes are paid and that anti-competitive abuses are known to be out of bounds.
For the most part, the regulations address consumer protection. The rules were made in a similar fashion to those of other states in regards to DFS contests. In the regulations, it states that participants have to be 18 years of age or older. Athletes are not allowed to take part in contests that involve their own sports. Employees of DFS companies are also banned from taking part or any individual who is associated with daily fantasy companies in a close manner. Immediate family members of such individuals are also banned from taking part.
DFS contests are not allowed to take part on amateur or college sports. Companies offering DFS gaming will be required to identify any highly experienced players. Participants of DFS will only be allowed to deposit $1,000 a month max unless they request a higher limit. Such players will also have to establish that they have the ability to afford the potential losses at the higher limits.
Credit cannot be extended to players by DFS companies and the companies have to keep the player account money in a separate account from the operating cash and have a reserve set aside to pay winners. Prohibitions have also been put in place on marketing that ban any depictions of minors or students who are in school or a college setting.
Companies offering DFS services must also notify participants that they have tax liabilities and must comply with data security laws, both state and federal. The regulations apply to DFS contests and are not related to season-long fantasy sports contests. The Comptroller’s office describes these as contests run by companies such as Yahoo and ESPN that attract church groups, softball teammates or office coworkers.
A law was passed in the state back in 2012 that legalized fantasy sports when offering prizes. In 2016, legislators wanted to look at the issue again and create a referendum on the matter. The 11th of January marks the new session of the General Assembly and it will be interesting to see if the subject of DFS gaming comes up.