In early May, the Governor of the State of Maryland signed into law a bill that exempts certain online fantasy sports games from that State’s gambling prohibitions which went into effect earlier this week, on October 1, 2012.
Below is a summary of the law’s features, as previously provided on this website:
The law relies on a similar definition of “fantasy sports” as found in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (“UIGEA”). This means that, in order to fall within the law’s exception provisions, the fantasy sports games must have an outcome that reflects the relative knowledge of the participants (but not chance), determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of athletes competing in real-world sporting events.
Further, all fantasy sports league prizes must be established and made known to the participants in advance of the contest and their value cannot be influenced by the amount of fees paid by, or the number of, participants.
Lastly, all winning outcomes must be determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of multiple athletes participating in multiple real-world sporting events. No winning outcome may be based on the score, point-spread or any performance or performances of any single team or any combination of such teams. In addition, no winning outcome may be based solely on any single performance of an individual athlete in any single event or game.
Maryland’s implementation of this law should be of interest to all gaming attorneys, fantasy sports lawyers and those interested in fantasy sports law in general.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic or pursuing a venture in this area, please feel free to contact us.