Regulation of daily fantasy sports (DFS) is not within the scope of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, according to Chairman Steve Crosby who said that daily fantasy sports companies such as Boston-based DraftKings cannot be regulated by the commission under state law.
However, Crosby did say that the commission is interested in the gaming world, it has experience in issues of licensing and how and when to regulate, and some of the commission members are open to being a part of a regulatory scheme for the growing industry. The industry has grown exponentially in use and awareness by the public in part to questions about its practices.
Questions about the industry that allows consumers to create rosters consisting of professional athletes and compete for cash are also being raised by Commissioner Gayle Cameron and other gambling regulators. Cameron said that a great deal of her career in New Jersey has been spent dealing with illegal sports betting and she’s seen the harm it can inflict. Another proponent for regulating the industry is Commissioner Enrique Zuniga who favors regulations similar to those of gambling and said, “There’s enough similarities to other forms of gambling that have been widely accepted as gambling that it merits the regulation that Commissioner Cameron and everybody seems to be coalescing around,” according to wbur.
However, the Commission’s Chairman, Crosby, warned about overacting and the ability to deliver a swift crushing blow to the industry. Stephen Martino, an attorney representing FanDuel, the other DFS industry leader, said that the industry is concerned that imposing the same regulation as casino gaming will make it extremely difficult for the DFS industry to grow and prosper. The industry is open to some regulation however and FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles published a letter written to its customers on Thursday. Martino said FanDuel looks forward to discussing the issue with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Following suit, DraftKings CEO Jason Roberts echoes FanDuel and on Thursday said in statement that the company was committed to operating in a transparent manner that is safe for consumers.
Over the next few weeks while those discussions take place, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission says it will compose a policy to submit to the attorney general, state lawmakers and the governor. Meanwhile on Tuesday, former United States Secretary of Labor Seth Harris announced the creation of a new self-regulatory body under his charge. The group, Fantasy Sports Control Agency (FSCA), was created by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA).