If you are active in fantasy sports in Maryland, and you’re sick of not being able to receive cash prizes, what can you do? Well, if you also happen to be a state delegate, you can introduce legislation.
A few years ago, Del. John Olszewski Jr. was putting together a fantasy football league — in which participants pick real players to be on their fake teams and gain points based on those players’ performance in real games — when he discovered Maryland’s de facto rule against cash payouts. (Maryland has no law specifically regarding fantasy sports, but the state’s other gambling laws make the situation clear.)
Frustrated, Olszewski introduced a bill in Annapolis to allow cash payouts for fantasy sports leagues. It failed, but he’s trying again, optimistic about his chances this time around.
More than thirty other states currently allow cash payouts for fantasy sports participants. Olszewski’s bill would, in his words, put Maryland “on the same playing field.”