ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Millions of people area already playing daily fantasy football games online. Now some Maryland lawmakers want to take a closer look at those games.
Derek Valcourt explains several states have already cracked down on those websites.READ MORE: A Baltimore County Woman Pushed To Find Her Childhood Friend’s Killer For 40 Years; How New DNA Evidence Finally Cracked The Case
Critics say some of the most popular fantasy football websites are nothing more than illegal gambling operations, and some in Maryland say it’s time to rein them in.
Season-long fantasy football leagues have been around for years, but a new breed of online daily fantasy contests has quickly gained big-time popularity–paying out to bettors who draft their own winning imaginary sports teams.
Players call it a game of skill, and therefore, not illegal gambling–but New York’s attorney general disagrees.
“It really does lure in people that are the most prone to gambling addiction problems,” said Eric Schneiderman, N.Y. Attorney General.
He’s now sent cease and desist orders to two of the biggest online fantasy sports companies–FanDuel and DraftKings–telling them not to accept bets in the state.
The move angers some fantasy sports players.READ MORE: Student Hospitalized, Another In Custody After Franklin High School Fight
“To make the whole thing illegal, I think he’s going to get a lot of backlash from it, and I don’t think it’s going to work out well for him at all,” one man said.
That action in New York is now giving some Maryland lawmakers pause. State Comptroller Peter Franchot the power to regulate fantasy sports leagues, thanks to a 2012 law.
He tells WJZ that online daily fantasy sports betting “…is a brand new industry created in the past few months that was not even fathomed in 2012…”
He says he’ll spend the coming months looking at if these companies are operating legally.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh says: “The revelations about FanDuel and DraftKings demonstrate that there are major questions about this huge industry that policy makers need to address.”
It is possible state lawmakers could hold hearings on this issue when the legislative session begins in January.MORE NEWS: Baltimore Man, 62, Charged In Murder Of Evelyn Player
So far, six states have taken action to make this kind of online fantasy sports betting illegal.