On Monday, the Massachusetts Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports met for the first time. The existence of the panel is a result of a daily fantasy sports bill the legislature passed in August. The bill legalized daily fantasy sports in Massachusetts, using the regulations crafted by Attorney General Maura Healey in March as a temporary solution until permanent regulations can be adopted.
It also included the creation of the special commission, which is tasked with recommending these permanent regulations to the legislature. In addition to DFS, the commission is entrusted with presenting suggestions on the broader issue of online gambling, and whether the two can be married.
The commission must present its findings and recommendations to the legislature on or before July 31, 2017. According to State Senator Eileen Donoghue, one of two chairs of the panel, it will reconvene every four to six weeks until the job is completed. The top priority will likely revolve around crafting permanent DFS regulations. With the passage of the bill in August, DFS is already legal, and simply needs a bit more clarity and permanency.
“We codified statutorily the standing of daily fantasy sports operations as legal entities but with a sunset provision,” said Wagner during the meeting. “It’s the hope that the work of this commission and whatever product, and perhaps legislative product, may come from it will provide guidance going forward.” The temporary regulations are set to expire on July 31, 2018.
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