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Stephen Martino

Martino holds up Mass. fantasy sports rules as national model

The former director of Maryland’s gaming commission is holding up proposed regulations governing daily fantasy sports companies as a potential national model.

Stephen L. Martino, an attorney for FanDuel, praised the proposed Massachusetts regulations as a good start as states grapple with the growth of such sites and some are calling them gambling sites and banning them outright.

“They’re a good starting point,” Martino said, according to the Associated Press. “There’s a real commitment that’s come from the very top of FanDuel to see the right thing done.”

In Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey proposed rules that would allow the sites to operate but restrict them to players who are at least 21 years old. The proposed regulations would also ban college sports fantasy leagues as well as require strong data protection for customers and offer programs to help problem gamblers similar to those offered in a number of states where casino gambling is legal.

Martino led Maryland’s gaming oversight agency for five years before announcing his departure in March to join the corporate practice group of the Baltimore office of Duane Morris, where he focuses on gaming, lottery and interactive gaming as well as lobbying in the industry.

Maryland is also struggling with how sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings fit within the intent of a 2012 law that legalized fantasy football gaming. Some state officials, including Comptroller Peter Franchot and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, have called the sites gambling sites and backdoor attempt to legalize sports better.

The legislature’s Joint Committee on Gaming Oversight is scheduled to hold a hearing on the subject next week that could potentially lead to legislation.

Franchot, whose agency is charged with regulating the industry, is also set to look at the issue. Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh has not investigated the issue but said his office will participate in the comptroller’s review.