Maryland Bill Would Allow Fantasy Payouts

Score another one for fantasy not qualifying as gambling.

Maryland state delegate Democrat John Olszewski has proposed a bill that would allow residents of his states to accept winning cash sums for fantasy sports victories. Currently, the games are lumped in with gambling under state law, leaving Maryland as one of a handful of states in which fantasy players can only compete for free.

“This is an issue where Congress said this isn’t gambling, a vast majority of states allow it, and it seems to make sense to allow Marylanders to have the same opportunity,” Olszewski told The Examiner of Baltimore. “For me, it’s a matter of equity. If people in Virginia and D.C. can play for prizes, why can’t we?”

Good question. The federal Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006 cracked down on payouts from online gambling — and specifically stated that fantasy sports are not gambling.

Although there are some high-stakes leagues and various levels of financial commitment and compensation, fantasy sports are games of skill that most people play for pride and bragging rights first and maybe economic incentives somewhere beyond that.

Here’s hoping not only that the Maryland bill gets adopted, but that it leads to similar measures in similarly restrictive states such as Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Vermont.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Maryland Bill Would Allow Fantasy Payouts”

  1. Fantasy Sports Business » Blog Archive » Maryland Delegates Try to Legalize Fantasy Prizes Says:

    [...] have to guess this bill is similar to the one presented by Democratic state delegate John Olszewski a year ago. Olszewski is again listed as the lead presenter of the [...]

Leave a Reply