The Maine Event: New Law Makes Daily Fantasy Sports Legal In 15 States, And Two-Thirds Of New England

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Maine fantasy sports law

Maine became the fifth state to legalize paid-entry fantasy sports this year — and the 15th overall — with a new law that went on the books on Wednesday.

It’s the latest in a run of victories in small Northeastern states for daily fantasy sports sites DraftKings and FanDuel. Vermont, New Hampshire and Delaware have all enacted laws since the start of June.

Marc La Vorgna, spokesperson for DraftKings and FanDuel, offered this statement after Maine’s law took effect:

“Maine is now the 15th state to adopt a regulatory framework to protect the right to play fantasy sports, protect consumers and help a booming piece of the tech economy continue to grow. Thanks to action by the legislature — led by Senators Carpenter, Jackson, Katz, and Mason, and Representatives Dillingham, Farrin, Golden and Luchini — up to 200,000 Mainers will continue to enjoy our new national pastime — fantasy sports — under a framework of sensible, light-touch consumer protections.”

The Maine fantasy sports law, at a glance

The state legislature approved a bill clarifying the legality of fantasy sports and regulating paid contests in July.

Gov. Paul LePage had until last night to sign or veto the bill, or do nothing and allow it to become law via his inaction. The latter is what happened, officially turning the bill into law.

No matter how it happened, it’s still another law that’s good for DFS operators. Here’s what’s in it:

The tally of states with DFS laws

Here’s the full list of states with fantasy sports laws (bold passed in 2017):

All of those except for Kansas include some sort of regulatory component.

A bill in New Jersey has reached the desk of Gov. Chris Christie, who has not signed or vetoed it, yet.

Trouble elsewhere in New England…

The news wasn’t as good in Massachusetts, the first state that acted to regulated DFS, this week.

A report from the Massachusetts Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports recommended that the legislature designate DFS as “online gaming.”

Moving in that direction would fundamentally alter how the state treats DFS operators. And it could have an impact in other states considering fantasy sports regulation. All the states above have specifically given DFS legal clarity as a game of skill and have not stirred up the hornets’ nest of being calling “gambling.”

DraftKings voiced its displeasure with the special commission’s report.