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Mass. lawmakers consider 15 percent tax on daily fantasy sports

  • In this Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 photo, employees work at the DraftKings office in Boston. The leading daily fantasy sports company has launched a new sports game that lets users hone in on a single NFL football playoff game, which has some gambling experts wondering if the contest inches the industry closer to the territory of sports betting that remains illegal in most of the United States. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa


Associated Press
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Massachusetts lawmakers are considering taxing daily fantasy sports operators like Boston’s DraftKings.

State Sen. Eileen Donoghue has introduced legislation making the online games permanently legal and subject to a 15 percent tax. The Lowell Democrat also wants to charge the state Gaming Commission with regulating the industry.

Daily fantasy sports are online contests in which players compete for cash prizes by picking teams of real-life athletes and scoring “fantasy” points.

Donoghue’s proposal builds on the recommendations of a special legislative commission on fantasy sports she co-chaired, she said. Lawmakers in 2016 declared “fantasy contests” legal through July 31, 2018, while that commission developed a permanent legislative solution.

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association remains concerned the proposed application fee would discourage startups and smaller companies from entering the Massachusetts market, said association Chairman Peter Schoenke, who served on the special commission with Donoghue.

Donoghue’s bill calls for a fee equal to either $100,000 or 1.5 percent of a company’s gross revenue.

DraftKings didn’t comment on the proposal but said it’s committed to “common sense” legislation that protects consumers and allows the industry to continue to grow.