Play In A Fantasy Sports League? Maine May Want Their Cut Of The Revenue By Taxing It
Fantasy football, baseball, golf and more have seen a large uptick in the past few years. The state of Maine wants to make up for lost time by taxing those fantasy leagues.
For many sports fanatics in Maine, playing fantasy football or baseball is part of the excitement when every new season begins. Fantasy sports leagues used to be a thing that only "nerds" competed in, but over the last decade and particularly the last 5 years, there has been an incredible upswing in participation for fantasy leagues. The upswing, and the money involved in those leagues has put dollars sign in the eyes of state legislators.
According to the Sun-Journal, a proposal was offered up that would require anyone who is the commissioner of a fantasy sports league in Maine to register that league with the Maine Department of Public Safety. There would be a registration fee for each league. Additionally, the state wants to know what kind of buy-in/grand prize is involved with your league and then would like to tax you on that amount. They ultimately want their cut.
The immediate impulse for many fantasy sports players would be, "WHAT"? But to clarify, the state of Maine is looking to target fantasy sports leagues that are seen by many as legal gambling. Free fantasy sports leagues on sites like ESPN or Yahoo would be exempt from this new law.
Sites and apps like Draft Kings are the target of this new law, where Maine would essentially take a 10% tax from each "league" per 12 months. They would cap the tax at $5,000. Beyond the taxing, the new law would ban fantasy leagues that include high school or college players.
The opposing side to this new law wonders how the state of Maine would go about policing it at all. For now, it is status quo for fantasy sports leagues in Maine but that could all change soon. Check your lineups.