There's no need to worry about accepting your friends' cash for winning your fantasy football league this year. A law passed by the General Assembly in April that went into effect on Monday officially makes it legal to bet on fantasy sports.
The bill excludes fantasy "competitions" from state laws against betting, wagering and gambling, so fantasy players can manage their imaginary teams based on game statistics without worry.
There are, of course, certain stipulations:
- All prizes offered must be known to participants in advance of the contest.
- The winning outcome is the result of the skill of participants and is determined by statistics generated by individuals in a sport.
Del. John A. Olszewski (D-Dundalk), the bill's sponsor, told the Washington Post in the spring that fantasy players in Maryland were "ensnared" by a 2006 opinion defining gambling as requiring decisions, the element of chance and a prize. An opinion, which previously excluded Marylanders from being able to win prizes as small as T-shirts in major leagues sponsored by organizers such as CBS and ESPN, according to the Post.
Well, now that it's legal to accept the prize, it's time to win that league.
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