Delaware has become the 14th US state to legalise and regulate daily fantasy sports (DFS), while Massachusetts has opted to classify such activities as online gaming.
Under new legislation in Delaware, DFS operators will have to pay a licensing fee of $50,000 (€42,300) to operate in the state and pay a 15% tax on gross gaming revenue.
The bill is expected to come into effect this month in time for the start of both the US college and NFL professional American football league seasons.
Delaware is one of only three states in the US, alongside Nevada and New Jersey, to have also legalised certain online gaming activities.
However, despite Delaware taking a positive stance, Massachusetts has opted for a different approach, casting doubts over the future of DFS in the state.
Yesterday (Monday) the Massachusetts Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports voted to officially adopt new recommendations to bring DFS under the umbrella of ‘online gaming’.
Should this recommendation gain legislative approval, DFS operators would be faced with heavier taxes currently levied on casinos and also required to obtain gaming licences in order to remain active in the state.
James Chisholm, director of public affairs at DraftKings, one of the leading DFS brands active in the state, said in a statement published by BizJournals that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and other legislators need to “reaffirm their commitment to Massachusetts start-ups” and also to “reject these ill-advised recommendations in whatever legislation is finalised”.
“While this commission report is merely a recommendation, it runs directly counter to the economic development law that overwhelmingly passed last year designed to promote the state’s Innovation Economy,” Chisholm said.
“The commission’s actions, as we and our partners in the fantasy sports industry pointed out time and time again, could restrain our company's ability to thrive and create jobs here in Massachusetts.
“These recommendations if ever adopted would put us behind every other state in the country on this issue, and send a troubling message to other start-ups.”
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