Massachusetts lawmakers took a major step toward keeping daily fantasy sports legal in their current version of the budget.
An adopted amendment to the House Ways and Means Budget removes the July sunset provision in the state’s 2016 DFS law. Rep. Mark Cusack (D-Braintree) submitted the amendment. The House approved the amendment Friday and it will move to the Senate.
The change would make permanent the legality of DFS in the home state of DraftKings, which is based in Boston. The original law “allows any fantasy sports operator to offer contests with cash prizes, legally” provided it complies with regulations set by the state attorney general.
Even if the current law did disappear, that might not change anything logistically, as DFS existed under the regulations of the state’s attorney general before the law.
DraftKings weighs in on the potential change
DraftKings provided Legal Sports Report with this statement from CEO Jason Robins on the Massachusetts budget amendment:
“We want to thank Speaker (Robert) DeLeo and the House for their continued support of Massachusetts’ innovation economy and their leadership in making the state a global center for sports technology companies like DraftKings.
“This amendment, which removes the ‘sunset’ language while preserving the essential consumer protection standards, which have become the national model, is an important step towards ensuring DraftKings will continue to grow — and hire — right here in our home state.
“We look forward to working in partnership with the House, Senate, and Governor to ensure its final passage.”
Massachusetts looked at bigger changes this session
A more comprehensive bill submitted in January would change how DFS is regulated and taxed in the state. It also would take a closer look at the possibility of sports betting and regulation of legal online gambling.
The bill would establish a committee to study sports betting, but only if the US Supreme Court strikes down the federal sports wagering ban, PASPA. A decision in the New Jersey sports betting case will come down by June at the latest.
The Massachusetts bill last moved in February and appears stuck in committee in the Senate. Its future prospects are uncertain at best.
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