Massachusetts to ban fantasy sports for people under 21

Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:53pm EST
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By Scott Malone

BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts would prohibit people under the age of 21 from playing paid fantasy sports games under a proposed set of regulations for the fast-growing, multibillion-dollar industry laid out on Thursday by state Attorney General Maura Healey.

The proposals would also ban fantasy competitions based on college sports, prohibit promotions of paid fantasy sports on high school and college campuses and bar professional athletes, agents and others connected to pro sports from taking part in paid fantasy contests related to their sports.

The fantasy sports business, led by DraftKings and FanDuel, has drawn increasing regulatory scrutiny over the past few weeks with state regulatory officials debating whether the paid daily games are gambling.

"These are games that you carry around with you in your pocket and lose money at the touch of a button," said Healey, who served as co-captain of Harvard's basketball team and went on to play two years of professional basketball in Europe. "This is an important step to protect consumers here in Massachusetts."

The proposals must be submitted to the secretary of state and will be subject to a public comment period before taking effect.


Massachusetts' approach is more restrained than that taken by New York state, whose attorney general on Tuesday sought a court injunction to shut down DraftKings and FanDuel, calling the games "plainly illegal."   Continued...

People protest in front of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office following his decision to shut down fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings, in the Manhattan borough of New York November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri