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DraftKings, FanDuel help Massachusetts ban daily fantasy players under 21

By The Sports Xchange   |   March 25, 2016 at 3:55 PM
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The Massachusetts attorney general released final regulations for daily fantasy sports companies that will ban players under the age of 21.

Attorney General Maura Healey's final regulations announced Friday included few changes from the draft regulations released in November.

The Massachusetts regulations were developed with the help of DraftKings and FanDuel to ensure the requirements were feasible, Healey's office said.

The rules officially take effect July 1 and do not require legislative approval.

"Other jurisdictions have taken different approaches. We'll see how they play out, so to speak," Healey said Friday. "We're focused on here first and foremost, protecting consumers, protecting young people, ensuring fair play and I'm proud to have a team in place that worked very hard to put together what are the most robust, comprehensive regulations for this industry in the country."

The regulations also prohibit Massachusetts players from entering contests based on amateur sports, including college games, and impose a deposit limit of $1,000 per month although companies can create criteria to allow the limits to be raised for individual players, according to the Boston Herald.

"We've actually strengthened the ban on minor play. We wanted to be clear that it's not just about people who are visiting Massachusetts," Healey said. "We know from studies that the problem of addictive behavior, addictive play is particularly pernicious for young people. Young people are very susceptible to addictive gaming and addictive play, and so it is all the more important that we take this action and we make sure that play doesn't start until age 21."

Controversy continues in many states involving Boston-based DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel, the two largest companies in the industry.

On Monday, DraftKings and FanDuel said they would stop operating paid contests in New York. That decision came on the heels of a lawsuit brought by the New York attorney general, who sued the two companies accusing them of violating the state's anti-gambling legislation.

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, as part of Monday's agreement, will suspend the lawsuit until New York lawmakers decide whether to pass laws regulating the daily sports contests offered by DFA companies.

Lawyers for DraftKings and FanDuel have argued that their clients could not have violated gambling statutes because they were taking in entry fees and not wagers.

On Thursday, Indiana followed Virginia to become the second state to legalize daily fantasy sports when Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill that allows the gaming activity.

Indiana requires players to be at least age 18 and prohibits the use of college and high school sports and horse racing for the fantasy contests.

Maryland residents will have an opportunity to vote in a November referendum on whether to permit daily sports fantasy in the state.

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