Maine Passes DFS Law

Maine has adopted a daily fantasy sports law that declares DFS contests as games of skill and legalizes them in the state. There are now 15 states with approved DFS legislation. The Maine legislation sets a 10 percent tax rate. New York is also considering amendments to block “proposition” betting in its DFS law and DraftKings announced a new game designed to attract casual players to its site.

Maine has approved a daily fantasy sports bill that classifies daily fantasy sports as a game of skill and sets a 10 percent tax on gross revenue.

DFS operators will need to have revenue of more than $100,000 and pay a licensing fee of $2,500. DFS games on collegiate or amateur sports are not allowed in the state.

“Maine is now the 15th state to adopt a regulatory framework to protect the right to play fantasy sports, protect consumers and help a booming piece of the tech economy continue to grow,” said Marc La Vorgna, a spokesperson for both of the two largest DFS operators, DraftKings and FanDuel in a press statement. “Thanks to action by the legislature up to 200,000 Mainers will continue to enjoy our new national pastime, fantasy sports, under a framework of sensible, light-touch consumer protections.”

In New York, that state is currently considering amendments to its DFS law to block “proposition” betting at DFS sites. The amendments were proposed by the state’s gambling commission.

According to a report at, the amendments would block games that resemble proposition bets, such as whether an individual athlete or a single team will surpass an identified statistical achievement.

The traditional games offered by FanDuel and DraftKings do not resemble proposition bets, but other schemes such as FastPick—in which players pick head-to-head matchups of players—could meet the criteria. New York based Boom Fantasy offers FastPick, which just went live through New Jersey’s Resorts online casino site.

The proposed amendments are opposed by the original author of the state’s DSF law, State Senator John Bonacic, who wrote a letter to the commission cited in the report.

“When I drafted S.8153, 1 intended to ensure enough flexibility to cater to many different styles of interactive fantasy sports gameplay,” Bonacic’s letter reads. “Competition generated between established incumbents like DraftKings and FanDuel, and innovative startups like Boom Fantasy, will lead the way to a robust industry for all.”

However, the commission argues that proposition betting could be considered more like traditional sports betting, which is still illegal under state law.

In another story, DraftKings announced a new game designed to attract casual players to its site.

The game is called “Pick’em,” and changes the usual player salary cap system to a tiered system.

“This is our most significant release we’ve made … in a really long time,” co-founder Matt Kalish said at a press conference. “It’s the thing we’ve had in mind the most as we were building up the platform.”

Instead of assigning salaries to Players—which has been the approach of contests by both DraftKings and FanDuel—the Pick’em system allows DFS players to choose lineups from “tiers” of available real-life players. Players select one player from each of several tiers.

Pick’em is available initially for the NFL, Major League Baseball and soccer contests, but the company expects to expand into other sports as well.

Finally,in an international development, India’s High Court has ruled that daily fantasy sports games are games of skill and not gambling.

The court ruled in the case of a resident of Chandigarh state who filed a suit against under the country’s Public Gaming Act for illegal gambling after losing money in two DFS contests.

However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court in India ruled that DFS play requires a substantial degree of skill, judgment and discretion, and cannot be considered gambling.

The court rejected the petition on grounds that the player himself “created a virtual team,” by choosing players, showing that fantasy sports games require substantial skill, efforts and statistics, according to a report in the India Times.

In the 29-page order, the high court also ruled that fantasy sports is not gambling, meaning it is a business activity that is protected by the right to free trade and commerce guaranteed under the country’s Constitution.