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September 19, 2020

Bill scheduled for final vote in the Senate on Thursday

Maryland voters could decide the fate of daily fantasy sports

Maryland voters could decide the fate of daily fantasy sports
Maryland voters could decide in November whether daily fantasy sports, an online game that has become widely popular, should be legal in the state. Under a bill that advanced in the Senate on Tuesday, voters would weigh in on whether the unregulated game
United States | 03/23/2016

Maryland voters could decide in November whether daily fantasy sports, an online game that has become widely popular, should be legal in the state. Under a bill that advanced in the Senate on Tuesday, voters would weigh in on whether the unregulated game should be legalized.

T

he legislation includes regulations for the daily fantasy sports industry, which has been banned in New York, Texas and elsewhere.

But those regulations would take effect only if the ballot referendum to legalize daily fantasy sports was approved.

In a separate bill, daily fantasy sports would become illegal, effective in January, if voters rejected the referendum proposal.

Lobbyists for DraftKings and FanDuel, the top fantasy sports operators, have been scurrying to get regulations for daily online fantasy sports put in place across the country.

Virginia recently became the first state in the country to regulate the activity, which has been declared illegal in seven states.

“We want to give the people a chance to decide yes or no,” said Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Prince George’s), the sponsor of the referendum measure. He said legislators also “want to be fair” to the state’s casinos, “to be honest with you.”

Earlier this year, state Attorney General Brian E. Frosh’s office recommended that the General Assembly clarify the legality of daily fantasy sports operations during its 90-day session, which ends next month. Frosh’s office suggested that the Maryland Constitution may require a referendum to authorize such activities.

The bills are scheduled for a final vote in the Senate on Thursday. They would then move to the House of Delegates for consideration.”

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