Massachusetts Makes A Difference Between Online Gambling And Daily Fantasy Sports

It has been months that the Massachusetts Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports has been digging into the common issues of online gambling but apparently, that was not enough to some members of the commission to find common ground. The vote that happened on Monday split out over the best path to take, leading to vague recommendations.

Members of commission still disagree

When members of a commission are tasked to write recommendations about a topic but they actually disagree on the subject, it obviously leads to very vague results. It has been yet months that the Massachusetts Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports has been gathering hours of experts testimony to understand at best the common issues of online gambling but still, they could not find common ground. Monday’s vote was the proof of their disagreement: of the nine-member commission, five voted “yes”, three voted “no” and one abstained.

Online Gambling differentiated from daily fantasy sport

You could read the complete breakdown of the recommendations, but let’s make it simpler. Amongst the top lines, you could understand that :

  • Daily fantasy sport should be distincted from other forms of online gambling,
  • Daily fantasy sport may remain legal, on condition that it is classified as gaming and thus overseen by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission,
  • About online gambling like, policymakers should consider them on a case-by-case basis.

As you can see, even the top lines remains very vague and the rest of the recommendations are not better.

Recommendations are too vague

Problem is, online gambling is about to explode and without strict regulations and recommendations, it will probably lead to chaos. Commission co-chair Joseph Wagner agreed at the hearing that “there is and will be a proliferation of these kinds of things”.

Commission co-chair Elaine Donoghue seems more optimistic. According to her, the cautious approach on a careful case-by-case analysis is the first step to clear and appropriate regulation. Hurrying into strict regulations without an experimental approach could indeed lead to unefficient laws. It is true that Senate President Stan Rosenberg spoke about bringing state legislature based on the recommendations written by the commission. Just a shame it was not a bit clearer than it actually was.

Amol Wagh

Author of Game Marketing Book: Market Your Indie Game Like A Pro! 7 years of Tech Blogging & Digital Marketing. Co-founder at Dotline Inc & a Gamer. Follow me on Twitter @amolwagh, @amol.wagh