An Act To Regulate and Tax Sports Fantasy League Activities in Maine
Sec. 1. 8 MRSA c. 33 is enacted to read:
REGULATION OF FANTASY CONTESTS
§ 1101. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 1102. Registration requirements for fantasy contest operators
A fantasy contest operator may not offer a fantasy contest in this State without first being registered with the department, except during such time as the fantasy contest operator's application for registration is pending before the department as provided in section 1103, subsection 2. Applications for registration must be on forms provided by the department.
§ 1103. Registration issuance by department
§ 1104. Powers and duties of department
Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as described in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
§ 1105. Duties of fantasy contest operator to protect consumers
(1) An athlete or individual who participates or officiates in a game, league or competition that is the subject of a fantasy contest; or
(2) A sports agent, team employee, referee or umpire or league official associated with a sport or athletic event;
§ 1106. Civil penalty
A person, firm, corporation, association, agent or employee of one of those entities who knowingly violates a provision of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each violation, not to exceed $5,000 for violations arising out of the same transaction or occurrence. Fines collected pursuant to this section accrue to the State and may be recovered in a civil action brought by the department against the violator.
§ 1107. Fantasy contests conducted under this chapter not illegal gambling
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a fantasy contest conducted in accordance with this chapter is not considered gambling subject to Title 17-A, chapter 39 or any other laws regulating or prohibiting gambling.
Sec. 2. Existing fantasy contest operators. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 8, section 1102, a fantasy contest operator, as defined in Title 8, section 1101, that was offering contests to persons located in this State prior to the effective date of Title 8, chapter 33 may continue to offer fantasy contests to persons located in this State until 60 days after applications for registration are made available to the public by the Department of Public Safety. A fantasy contest operator that does not apply for registration during that 60-day period shall cease operations within this State by the expiration of the 60-day period.
This bill requires persons who operate fantasy contests to register annually with the Department of Public Safety and pay a registration fee based on the gross revenues generated by that fantasy contest operator during the 12 months prior to registration or renewal. "Fantasy contest" is defined as a simulated game or contest in which one or more players pay an entry fee and compete for and win prizes of value based on outcomes that reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the players and that are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals, including athletes in the case of sporting events.
This bill regulates the operators of fantasy contests, including by prohibiting the fantasy contest operator, an employee of the operator or a relative of the employee in the same household from participating in the contests; requiring the outcome to be based on more than just a score or point spread of a single game or contest; allowing an individual, on that individual's request to the operator, to be barred from playing in the contest; requiring the operator to provide notice of the prizes prior to the contest; and requiring the operator to establish a separate reserve account for the payment of prizes.
Finally, the bill exempts fantasy contests from the laws prohibiting games of chance and gambling.