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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Rhode Island AG Calls for Daily Fantasy Regulation

PROVIDENCE (CN) - Soon after Rhode Island's attorney general pushed for more regulation of daily fantasy sports-betting Thursday, the website DraftKings voiced support for the move.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin addressed Gov. Gina Raimondo, the speaker of the state House of Representatives, and the president of the Rhode Island Senate on Thursday in a letter about the absence of specific state laws governing daily fantasy sports, a variant of season-long fantasy games.

Kilmartin says that the daily games are currently evaluated using the state's "dominant factor" test, which determines that a game is considered a "lottery," and therefore illegal gambling, if "chance dominates the distribution of prizes."

This definition creates "an especially high burden," Kilmartin said, compared to other states that have deemed fantasy games illegal under more restrictive standards.

He says it makes daily fantasy sports legal in Rhode Island, as they are not considered a game of chance by the "dominant factor" test.

"Nevertheless, it is my very strong suggestion that the legislature, this year, enact a statute which governs the operation of [daily fantasy sports] in this state," Kilmartin wrote.

He urged state lawmakers to strictly regulate the games to prevent criminal elements, youth participation and addiction issues from arising.

Kilmartin also called for game transparency, reduction of economic harm to vulnerable players and potential revenue for the state.

"Should you wish to allow daily fantasy sports to continue to operate legally in Rhode Island, my office remains available to the legislature to assist in vetting this issue," the attorney general wrote.

DraftKings, which released its declaration of support later in the day, emphasized that there is no legal distinction between season-long and daily fantasy sports, and additional regulation will protect the legality of the games.

"We also agree that the legislature is the appropriate place for any additional regulation of fantasy contests," DraftKings' statement reads. "That is why we are working actively with legislators in Rhode Island and across the country to enact thoughtful and appropriate regulations that allow our fans to continue enjoying the contests they love."

DraftKings, headquartered in Boston, Mass., was established in 2012 and fell under state and federal scrutiny for legality last year.

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