Md. Comptroller Proposes Fantasy Sports Betting Regulations

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot on Thursday proposed regulations for daily fantasy sports betting in the state.

The comptroller said the regulations are needed to help ensure the games are fair and that winners pay appropriate state taxes, as they draw in hundreds of thousands of state residents.

``Daily online fantasy sports games have established a significant presence in Maryland,'' Franchot said in a statement. ``It is entirely appropriate that we begin making sure the games are fair, anticompetitive abuses are declared out of bounds, and appropriate taxes are paid.''

The regulations include:

  • Banning play by residents under 18, as well as professional athletes in games of their sport and employees, officers, directors or contractors of fantasy sports operators.
  • Banning games based on amateur or college sports.
  • Barring game operators from extending any credit to a player and require operators to notify residents of their potential tax obligations.
  • Banning the use of ``scripts,'' which are mini-programs used by experienced players to gain advantages that are unfair to more casual players.
  • Limiting participants to a maximum of $1,000 in deposits each month, unless they ask for a raised limit.

The rules largely are based on regulatory frameworks in states that have taken action. They are subject to public comment and will go to a state legislative panel for review.

A 2012 Maryland law authorized fantasy sports betting, but only in small social groups that play all season. It wasn't designed to cover the daily betting offered by commercial companies like DraftKings and FanDuel that became popular after the law was enacted.

FanDuel said in a statement Thursday that the comptroller modeled the regulations after some of the best and strongest ones in states across the country.

``We are still reviewing the details and look forward to working with the Comptroller through the comment period. We have strongly supported regulations and our call has been hears, with six states passing laws to regulate fantasy sports this year.''

In fantasy sports betting, people deposit money in accounts and create fantasy rosters by selecting real players. They then compete to win money against other contestants based on their players' performances.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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