Daily Fantasy Sports Companies And Opponents Square Off At Hearing On Regulations

Daily fantasy sports companies squared off against opponents at a public hearing in Boston Tuesday on proposed regulations for the industry.

Attorney General Maura Healey's draft regulations, released in November, would bar minors from playing daily fantasy sports and also limit player deposits to $1,000 per month, unless players document they can afford more.

At the hearing, Griffin Finan, a lawyer for Boston-based DraftKings, praised some of the proposals. However he said some of the regulations "go too far and will limit consumer enjoyment without offering additional protections."

Peter Schoenke, head of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, praised Healey for drafting rules to protect consumers.

"I mean, we like the approach here. We've seen a movement across the country for fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports where governments are trying to work with the industry and not against us," he said at Tuesday's hearing. "And so I think today, that's what we're seeing here, we're trying to be supportive."

Others argued the proposals don't go far enough.

"We just received a phone call yesterday from a mother concerned about her son's play," said Marlene Warner, of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling.

Les Bernal, of the group Stop Predatory Gambling, also criticized the attorney general's office, saying the draft regulations legitimize daily fantasy sports.

"We are essentially doing in Massachusetts the biggest expansion of gambling in state history," he said. "We are now opening Internet gambling to every living room, every bedroom and every smart phone in Massachusetts."

The state's Gaming Commission also believes the proposed rules don't go far enough. It has published a new policy paper arguing for more comprehensive regulation of the online contests.

Following the hearing, Healey said her office will review the comments that were presented.

"Our focus is on finalizing these strong regulations that will bring needed transparency to this industry and protect consumers, minors, and their families," Healey said in a statement.

The state attorney general's office will accept public comment on the proposal through Jan. 22 before finalizing the regulations.

This article was originally published on January 12, 2016.


Headshot of Curt Nickisch

Curt Nickisch Business & Technology Reporter
Curt Nickisch was formerly WBUR's business and technology reporter.



More from WBUR

Listen Live