The popularity of daily sports fantasy in Maine is now making the heads of state legislators turn, vowing to take a closer look on regulating fantasy sports gambling in the 10th least populous state in the U.S.
Bangor Daily News reported that a meeting took place between representatives of DFS operators and state lawmakers at the recent National Conference of State Legislatures in Chicago, to discuss the possibility of regulating fantasy sports gambling in Maine next year.
Legislators say that DFS regulation in Maine deserve a closer look to protect the interests of both the players and the state government.
Republican state Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta has submitted a bill title for consideration in the next session, which aims to scrutinize the issues surrounding the regulation of DFS. He does not have to submit a detailed proposal until after the session is underway.
“Should there be some regulation of these leagues to make sure that consumers are being protected when these leagues come into a state?” he said. “Secondly, is this a possible revenue source as well?”
The state of Maine, according to Katz, will be able to hit two birds with one stone for regulating DFS since it will not only translate additional income for the state coffers, but also safeguard the players in the state.
A recent study shows that DFS that an estimated $2.6 billion in entry fees nationally were paid last year and that it will grow to more than $14 billion in 2020.
State Rep. Matt Pouilot of Augusta, who also was at the meeting in Chicago, echoed the statement of Katz that Maine players deserve some protection.
“There was some pretty big blow up with Draft Kings and, you know, a while back with some reports of insider baseball, no pun intended, going on with one of their employees,” he said.
Meanwhile, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills suggested that legislators needs to qualify whether DFS is a game of chance or a game of skill when they come up with the regulation bill. There are many other issues that need to be explored, Mills said.
Lawmakers should also prescribe how much bet should DFS players wager, who are allowed to play, and require disclaimers to reveal the odds of winning.
“It’s fun to, you know, to pretend you are the manager of a gazillion teams, you are going to put this quarterback together with this linebacker, this, that and the other thing,” she said. “That can be a lot of fun, but when it comes to putting a lot of money at risk, and putting your family savings at risk, that’s something that causes me great concern.”