Bill seeks to permanently legalize daily fantasy sports in Massachuetts

DFS temporary legalization is set to expire on July 31

In this Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 photo, employees work at the DraftKings office in Boston. The leading daily fantasy sports company has launched a new sports game that lets users hone in on a single NFL football playoff game, which has some gambling experts wondering if the contest inches the industry closer to the territory of sports betting that remains illegal in most of the United States. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON (WWLP)—Daily fantasy sports, or DFS, is currently legal in Massachusetts, but it’s set to expire on July 31 if the legislature doesn’t take action. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would permanently legalize and regulate DFS.

Nearly 60 million people played fantasy sports in the United States and Canada last year. They are online games where players can bet on amateur or professional sports teams and athletes.

“Permanently legalizing daily fantasy sports is not without risk, but if done right, it could provide distinct benefits to the state while allowing millions of fans to continue playing a game that they love,” State Senator Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell) said. She sponsored the bill.

Donoghue said such a law could produce local jobs and generate new revenue for the state. The bill calls for a 15 percent tax on DFS.

DFS could pose a threat for other forms of gambling, such as the state lottery. Massachusetts State Lottery Commission Executive Director Michael Sweeney is calling on the legislature to provide protections for the lottery in the DFS market, including product placement.

“Have them be required that the providers highlight state lottery promotions on any of their websites and applications,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney is also asking that the lottery be allowed to send push notifications to DFS players through provider applications and require providers to display state lottery website and app links.

The Economic Development and Emerging Technologies is currently reviewing the bill.