Fantasy sports needs clarity in Maryland

January 18, 2016 4:48 PM
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Fantasy sports needs clarity in MarylandMaryland’s official view of daily fantasy sports betting needs legislative clarity, according to attorneys for the state.

Complicating matters is the fact that daily fantasy sports activity has emerged as an issue only in the last few years “and there are few judicial opinions and none in Maryland that address this new form of fantasy sports,” wrote lawyers in the attorney generals office.

Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Rowe and Adam Snyder, chief counsel of opinions and advice, were responding to questions from Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller who sought legal advice about 2012 legislation allowing traditional fantasy betting among groups of friends. He also asked whether the matter should have gone on a ballot for voters to decide.

The 22-page letter from the attorneys called it a complicated issue, but said betting on daily fantasy sports should have been referred to the electorate for a vote.

They recommended legislators take up the issue during the current session and clarify whether daily fantasy sports were authorized in Maryland.

Companies like Boston-based DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel contend their websites offer games of skill. They are not gambling, the two companies that have partnered with major league sports teams in marketing and promotional ventures are arguing.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: PhilHevener@GamingToday.com.