Massachusetts lawmakers continue study of daily fantasy sports

News on 15 Feb 2018

With daily fantasy sports temporary operating permits expiring in July in Massachusetts, state lawmakers are again studying the implication of a more permanent arrangement for the vertical, according to reports in the Boston Globe.

On Wednesday the Legislature’s Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies took testimony from state Sen. Eileen Donoghue, following her tenure on the Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports (see previous reports).

Daily fantasy sports gaming would be permanently legalised under a proposal aired before the committee in a bill that calls for full and permanent regulation under the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which also oversees casino gambling and horse racing.

The proposed legislation would impose a 15 percent tax on gross gaming revenues collected in Massachusetts, which is on par with other states where fantasy sports are legalised, such as New York and New Jersey, according to Senator Donoghue.

“We did offer them a window of legalization so we could get down and do the work, which we did,” Donoghue said following the hearing. “The conclusion, I think, is very clear, that this is a legitimate industry, they should be legalized, and we should move forward.”

In response to questions about the 15 percent tax compared to the 25 percent tax on physical resort-casinos and the 49 percent tax on slots parlors arose, Donoghue noted the smaller operating margin of daily fantasy sports.

“I thought they were forthright coming forward and talking about why their margins of operation are very different from a bricks and mortar casino and I took that into consideration when trying to craft a bill that was fair to them, fair to the commonwealth,” said Donoghue.

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