The Patriot-Ledger reported that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey would be “reviewing the legality” of daily fantasy sports, specifically industry leader DraftKings.
Problems at home for DraftKings?
The DFS giant is based in Boston, so the review will be coming in its home state. DraftKings, and all other DFS sites, operate in Massachusetts; the site does not operate in five states.
The report, which originally came from the State House News Service (paywall) was short on details:
Asked about the legality of the business that lists its location at Post Office Square, Healey told the News Service on Wednesday, “The point is this: This is a new industry. It’s something that we’re reviewing, and we’ll learn more about it.”
The nature and scope of the review are unknown, at this point. Legal Sports Report reached out to the AG’s office, which confirmed the report, but had no further comment on the matter.
The story moved forward on Monday, when Healey was asked again about DraftKings:
“Draft Kings actually came to our office and wanted to reach out and talk to us about a new industry, so we heard them out, we’re hearing them out on it, and as I said, we’re just looking to learn more,” Healey told reporters after speaking to recovering substance addicts in Gardner Auditorium.
Obviously, the new statements from Healey make the “review” sound far less ominous. However, the fact that DraftKings initiated the conversation still does not mean the review will result in a favorable outcome.
Sports lawyer Daniel Wallach offered one possible route for the “review”:
Breaking: Massachusetts AG to “review” the legality of #DFS. One possibility is the issuance of an advisory opinion http://t.co/96cXvj6qeH
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) September 17, 2015
Such an opinion would not be legally binding, but would merely be the AG’s office take on the operation of daily fantasy sports under Massachusetts statutes.
Legal questions for DFS
The comments come during a turbulent time for DFS and its perceived legality.
The review could be of the same nature as one that is also under way in Nevada, although that “legal analysis” is coming from the gaming commission in that state.
Healey is the second state attorney general to say publicly that they would look at the issue of daily fantasy sports, joining Kansas. That attorney general issued a positive review in that state. Later, Kansas passed a law legalizing fantasy sports.
Also of note on the legal front for DFS recently:
- A New Jersey representative asked for a Congressional hearing on DFS, citing a “murky” legal landscape.
- Michigan’s Gaming Control Board issued a statement saying it believed DFS is illegal.
- California introduced a bill seeking to regulate DFS.