In his April 16 column (“Maine fantasy sports bill benefits big guys“), Jim Fossel makes incorrect assumptions about fantasy sports and erects seriously flawed strawmen to try to torpedo a bill that benefits businesses large and small in a growing tech industry.

As a small fantasy sports business owner, I know our industry needs and wants regulation like L.D. 1320.

When I founded my startup in New England a few years ago, I knew a lack of legal clarity was going to be a potential inhibitor for soliciting investment and planning a clear course for growth. Fantasy sports have been around for decades, but advances in technology have changed the way games are played and outdated, pre-iPhone laws don’t address modern fantasy sports. In short, the tech outpaced government (not surprising), and it’s time for the laws to catch up.

States across the country have enacted similar regulations, including consumer protections like those proposed in Maine, and they have proven successful. Why? Because the laws create certainty – certainty that fantasy sports are recognized, legal businesses and certainty for our players, assuring them games are fair and transparent. Customer confidence is crucial, especially in a new, growing market. What happens when small businesses have certainty? They invest. They look to grow. They hire people. They put more resources into developing their products, and, hopefully, they succeed.

Yes, there are registration fees, and that’s OK. All businesses licensed by the state typically pay a fee. Fossel laughably compares small fantasy sports businesses to a guy grilling in his backyard. Trust me, starting a fantasy sports company is a lot more complicated than making hot dogs, and businesses of all sizes should have to follow the same basic rules to make sure no one is cheating customers. More importantly, the law wouldn’t even apply to not-for-profit fantasy sports sites.

The lawmakers advancing this bill have taken a pro-business approach, while simultaneously protecting consumers – exactly what smart governments should be doing.

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