As Healey reviews fantasy sports sites, DraftKings hires Coakley

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STATE HOUSE — Attorney General Maura Healey has recently touted her direct dealings with fantasy sports site executives and on Monday came out in support of regulating the growing industry.

Healey won’t need any introduction to the new representative for DraftKings, the Boston-based site that’s been aggressively advertising and enticing would-be players with the possibility of big winnings.

Healey’s former boss, Martha Coakley, is now representing DraftKings, the company confirmed Tuesday morning.

“She is retained as an outside adviser,” DraftKings spokeswoman Sabrina Macias said of the former attorney general and Democratic gubernatorial nominee. “Specifically for legislative counsel and anything regarding government affairs and legislative counsel.”

Before running for office last year, Healey worked under Coakley in the attorney general’s office. DraftKings did not immediately respond when asked if Coakley will work with Healey’s office on behalf of the fantasy sports site.

Healey has since last month been reviewing DraftKings and similar daily fantasy sports gaming websites. Earlier this month she announced that after reviewing the business model of the sites she found nothing in federal or Massachusetts law that would prohibit the activity, but indicated she wanted to talk with executives further about consumer protections.

“Our office was the first in the country to begin a review of this new industry. We are seeking extensive information about the industry and have spoken with the leading companies directly as part of this review,” Healey’s office said in a statement Monday. “There is little question that this industry will need to be regulated in order to protect consumers, and we intend to make our findings and recommendations public at the end of this review.”

A Healey spokeswoman said her comprehensive review will be done in a “timely manner,” but officials are working without a strict deadline.

DraftKings appears to have ramped up its legislative efforts on Beacon Hill this fall. In addition to retaining Coakley, the site advertised a job opening for a manager of government affairs based at its Boston office, with job responsibilities including “coordination and oversight of multi-state legislative effort.”

The secretary of state’s online lobbyist registry lists Bay State Strategies Group — one of the state’s top grossing lobbying firms — as representing the Chicago-based Fantasy Sports Trade Association, and no lobbyists working specifically for DraftKings.

DraftKings is a member of the trade association and DraftKings President Jason Robins sits on the association’s board of directors.

— Written by Colin A. Young

Copyright State House News Service