February 17th, 2010

Maryland Delegates Try to Legalize Fantasy Prizes

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Fantasy-game operators are keenly aware of the handful of states that still either don’t allow or make it tricky to send monetary prizes to their inhabitants. Four Maryland delegates are trying to remove their state from that list.

House Bill 750 was presented to state legislators on Feb. 5 for, among other things, “the purpose of exempting certain fantasy competitions from gaming prohibitions.”

The bill defines “fantasy competitions” this way …

“1. Participants own, manage, or coach imaginary teams;

2. All prizes and awards offered to winning participants are established and made known to participants in advance of the game or contest and their value is not determined by the number of participants or the amount of any fees paid by those participants;

3. The winning outcome of the game or contest reflects the relative skill of the participants and is determined by statistics generated by actual individuals (players or teams in the case of a professional sport); and

4. No winning outcome is based:

(I) Solely on the performance of an individual athlete; or

(II) On the score, point spread, or any performances of any single real-world team or any combination of real-world teams.”

Though I don’t recall seeing a copy of the previous attempt, I would 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 bill.

Should it pass, the bill seeks to take effect on Oct. 1. We’ll be pulling for it.