Maine Becomes 15th State to Regulate DFSAugust 4, 2017 12:55 pm
Maine has become the USA’s 15th state to regulate daily fantasy sports, with the northeastern state located in the New England region joining Vermont and New Hampshire in offering legalized fantasy sports, leaving Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island yet to adopt such a law. Having passed in both houses, the DFS bill became law by default at midnight on August 2nd, after Gov. Paul LePage failed to sign off on the piece of legislation.
The bill, called “An Act To Regulate and Tax Sports Fantasy League Activities in Maine,” was first introduced by State Senator Roger Katz on April 4th, before sailing through the House on June 29th, and the Senate on July 20th. Amongst the other lawmakers co-sponsoring Katz’s bill were State Representatives Bradlee Thomas Farrin, Jeffrey Timberlake, and Jared Golden, as well as State Senators Troy Dale Jackson, Garrett P. Mason, and Andre E. Cushing III.
According to the bill, DFS companies generating more than $100,000 in annual revenue must now pay a $2,500 licensing fee, as well as a 10% tax on their gross revenue. As daily fantasy sports betting is not subject to state gambling law, however, players can be aged just 18, instead of the required 21 for gamblers, meaning more prospective customers for the tiny state with a population of just 1.33 million people. In addition, customer protection measures included in the bill includes having separate accounts for player and operating funds, and prohibiting promotions that may attract problem gamblers.
Currently there are 15 states that offer DFS betting, with 6 having passed regulation in 2017 alone. Commenting upon the hugely positive development, DFS industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel issued a statement via joint spokesman Marc La Vorgna, stating:
“Thanks to action by the legislature — led by Senators Carpenter, Jackson, Katz, and Mason, and Representatives Dillingham, Farrin, Golden and Luchini — up to 200,000 Mainers will continue to enjoy our new national pastime — fantasy sports — under a framework of sensible, light-touch consumer protections.”
Finally, the low tax and fee rates set by Maine should help make the state a more attractive destination for DFS operators, especially the smaller ones who might otherwise find too high a barrier to entry in bigger states where licensing fees are significantly higher.