Bill to regulate fantasy sports goes to Maine legislature

NOW: Fantasy sports bill

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --

There is a public hearing scheduled in the Veterans and Legal Affairs committee Wednesday in the Maine Legislature that will hear about regulating fantasy sports operations in Maine.

The bill applies to sites and applications such as FanDuel or DraftKings, which allows people to pay an entry fee to enter contests where players can win up to thousands of dollars.

FanDuel e-mailed users, asking them to support the bill.

This bill requires persons who operate fantasy contests to register annually with the Department of Public Safety and pay a registration fee based on the gross revenues generated by that fantasy contest operator during the 12 months prior to registration or renewal.
 
The operator would pay 10 percent of its gross fantasy contest revenues for the preceding 12 months, not to exceed $5000, as the registration fee each year.
 
FanDuel and DraftKings spokesperson Marc La Vorgna said the bill would actually help players by prohibiting anyone who could impact a real sports game from playing fantasy, including athletes, officials, referees, or team employees.
 
"It's those basic rules that will give players confidence that the games they're playing are fair," said La Vorgna. "It should be treated just like any other industry that interacts with millions and millions of people."
 
La Vorgna said 10 other states have similar legislation in place: Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, and Arkansas.
 
"It's a very good piece of legislation. We'll keep working to make sure that we're taking from the best pieces of regulation from other states and making sure the appropriate tweaks are made for the state of Maine."
 
La Vorgna said the registration fee should not affect the amount players can win in a contest.
 
According to the Concord Monitor newspaper, New Hampshire is also considering similar legislation.
 
"Fantasy contest" is defined as a simulated game or contest in which one or more players pay an entry fee and compete for and win prizes of value based on outcomes that reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the players and that are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals, including athletes in the case of sporting events.
 
This bill regulates the operators of fantasy contests, including by prohibiting the fantasy contest operator, an employee of the operator or a relative of the employee in the same household from participating in the contests; requiring the outcome to be based on more than just a score or point spread of a single game or contest; allowing an individual, on that individual's request to the operator, to be barred from playing in the contest; requiring the operator to provide notice of the prizes prior to the contest; and requiring the operator to establish a separate reserve account for the payment of prizes.
 
Finally, the bill exempts fantasy contests from the laws prohibiting games of chance and gambling.
 

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