A state delegate from Dundalk is betting this is the year that his proposed law exempting fantasy football from state gaming laws is passed in the Maryland General Assembly.
Del. John Olszewski Jr., a Democrat, said he plans to re-introduce his bill that would allow Maryland residents to participate in online fantasy football leagues where winners are paid cash prizes.
"Maryland is one of four states specifically prohibited from playing in the paid leagues," Olszewski said. "My bill would allow Marylanders the ability to enjoy the same rights that others around the country currently enjoy."
Olszewski, who said he indulges in a fantasy football league or two, said the leagues don't meet the state definition of gambling and added that a 2006 federal law allows online fantasy leagues—provided that they are not prohibited at the state level.
"It's a lot different than throwing a dollar in a slot machine and having an immediate win-loss result," said Olszewski. "It's not based on scores or point spreads."
Olszewski has pre-filed the bill for this year's Maryland General Assembly session.
It was previously introduced in 2009 and 2010. Despite receiving no opposition, the bill has never received a vote in the House Ways and Means Committee.