Any company whose legality is being questioned will jump at every opportunity to voice their cause to all ears that are willing to listen, especially that of important players in the legislative. Apparently, that has yet to be the case with DraftKings.
Rep. Joe Wagner, a key lawmaker on gambling issues in Massachusetts, told the State House News Service that he is still waiting for the Boston-based daily fantasy sports operator to contact him. The Chicopee Democrat is the House chairman of the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, and was also one of the legislators behind the 2011 casino law in the state.
“No one has approached me at this point,” Wagner told the news outlet.
DraftKings’ explosive popularity has caught the eye of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who recently initiated a review on the legality of the fantasy sports site.
Wagner pointed out sports sites like DraftKings, which lure customers with the promise of winning money, could be an item of discussion between lawmakers and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
However, it seems that DraftKings is already working on its efforts to make its presence known on Beacon Hill. According to MassLive, the company recently advertised for a manager of government affairs based at its Boston office. The company is reportedly looking for someone who holds a juris doctor, has worked for at least four years and has “strong relationships with key policy makers preferably in multiple states.”
The job description, which can be accessed on the Draft Kings site, stated that the ideal candidate’s work will include “coordination and oversight of multi-state legislative effort,” and “overseeing grassroots efforts and implementing strategy to build grassroots presence,” among other responsibilities.
DraftKings, and its archrival FanDuel, are two DFS platforms that are currently enjoying popularity across the United States, thanks to the increased promotion of daily fantasy sports products in national TV broadcast networks.
The sudden popularity of these sites has sparked legislative debates about their similarities to sports betting. New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone has also called for an inquiry on the possible link between fantasy sports and gambling.
“Fans are currently allowed to risk money on the performance of an individual player,” Pallone said. “How is that different than wagering money on the outcome of a game?”
Online sports gambling is outlawed under the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, but daily fantasy sports is enjoying a carve-out provided by the Unlawful Internet Gaming and Enforcement Act. Lawmakers back then didn’t consider fantasy sports simply because this style of fantasy sports gambling, which allows players to build their teams every day or week, just didn’t exist at the time.
In some ways, daily fantasy sports is following the path of online poker in the United States. Like poker, DFS has captured the imagination of fans looking to become rich playing a game. They’re also scoring big money television contracts, but they’re also suffering from unwanted government attention and murky legal landscape. And just like poker in the U.S., it’s only a matter of time before DFS’s black Friday moment happens.too many sharks in the pool,