Scotland business

FanDuel backs new US regulatory moves

Protest over legal action against fantasy sports firms in New York Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Fantasy sports gaming fans staged a protest in New York last week after a cease and desist notice was served on industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings

Fantasy sports gaming firm FanDuel has said it welcomes moves by US officials to tighten industry regulations.

The comments came after the attorney general of Massachusetts proposed new rules which would ban people under the age of 21 from playing paid fantasy sports games.

The regulations would also require protection of players' deposits and "robust" data and security measures.

They also seek to ensure "more truthful advertising" and more transparency.

FanDuel said the approach towards regulating fantasy sports made "a tremendous amount of sense".

Officials in several states have been taking a strict approach to the industry, arguing that paid daily games amount to gambling.

'Cease and desist'

Last week, the fast-growing Scottish-American tech firm was served with a cease and desist notice by regulators in New York, effectively telling it to stop taking money in the state.

The top prosecutor argued that fantasy sports firms were running illegal gambling operations.

FanDuel - a leading player in the US fantasy sports business - suspended entry to paid contests for people located in New York pending the outcome of a court hearing next week.

It also launched a petition urging opposition to "any measure that would ban online fantasy sports".

Image copyright Reuters

In the latest development, the attorney general's office in Massachusetts said a review it had conducted had "uncovered a number of concerns" about the sector's business practices and "the ability of consumers to have a fair shot while playing these games".

Attorney General Maura Healey said: "These regulations are a first of their kind for the daily fantasy sports industry, and they focus on protecting minors, ensuring truthful advertising, bringing more transparency to the industry, and levelling the playing field for all consumers."

"This is a first step, but an important step, as we continue to evaluate this new industry and make sure our laws keep up with these evolving technologies."

'Tremendous sense'

Responding to the announcement, FanDuel said: "Attorney General Healey's approach towards regulating fantasy sports makes a tremendous amount of sense - it provides strong protections for consumers and allows sports fans to continue doing something they love.

"FanDuel believes that regulations which increase transparency and ensure contests are fair will benefit the entire fantasy industry.

"We appreciate that there will be a public notice and comment period to collect input from all relevant parties and FanDuel will submit our comments to the regulations in the next 60 days.

"We also welcome the opportunity to work with attorney generals in all states, along with other lawmakers, to implement fair regulations that benefit both consumers and sports tech innovators."

FanDuel was founded in Edinburgh in 2009 by entrepreneurs Nigel and Lesley Eccles, but only operates in America and Canada.

The pair still live in the Scottish capital, although the site's headquarters are in New York.

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