Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed into law a bill to legalize daily fantasy sports in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts is the ninth state to legalize daily fantasy sports, and the eighth to do so this year. The legalization of daily fantasy sports, or “fantasy contests,” was included in a larger bill—H. 4569—related generally to job creation and workforce development.
Under the bill, “fantasy contest” is defined as “any fantasy or simulated game or contest, in which: (i) the value of all prizes and awards offered to winning participants are established and made known to the participants in advance of the contest; (ii) all winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and shall be determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals, including athletes in the case of sports events; and (iii) no winning outcome is based on the score, point spread, or any performance or performances of any single actual team or combination of such teams or solely on any single performance of an individual athlete or player in any single actual event.”
The bill requires contest operators to act in accordance with the regulations set forth by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in March of this year. Those regulations require, among other things, that DFS contest participants be at least 21 years of age, no contests be offered based on college or amateur sporting events, employees of DFS operators be restricted from participating in DFS contests, and that participant deposits be limited to $1,000 per month.
This development comes on the heels of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signing a bill to legalize daily fantasy sports in New York, which has been the primary courtroom battleground for the industry. Notably, major daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel are based in Boston and New York, respectively.