Yesterday, the two biggest daily fantasy sports companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, came out in support of AG Maura Healey’s proposed regulations for the industry. A quick summary:
Healey has proposed regulations that would require daily fantasy sports players to be at least 21 years of age, prohibit college sports from the competitions, require stronger player data protections and programs to help problem gamblers, among other requirements.
For the most part, these make sense: we want to curb the harms that can come from gambling, whether it’s on fantasy sports or anything else. We should also make sure that betting on fantasy sports is reserved for adults, just like the state lottery and other types of gambling.
Yet the state lottery has a minimum age requirement of 18 years (as it should be). Why would it make sense to apply a different age requirement for this type of gambling, which arguably leaves much less to chance than a scratch ticket or an entry for Powerball? Is there some sort of greater risk involved in daily fantasy sports? Or is the state just cynically trying to keep some market share among gamblers between the ages of 18 and 21?
Since 18-year-olds are legal adults, capable of joining the military, buying a house, and entering the state lottery, I don’t see any good reason to bar 18-to-21-year-old adults from betting on fantasy sports. Unfortunately I haven’t heard anyone else really questioning this, and thus AG Healey hasn’t given a justification for this hypocritical regulation. Before these rules are enacted, Healey’s office need to fix this wrong-headed discrepancy.