Mass. Attorney General Tackles Online Fantasy Sports Gaming Pitfalls

Attorney General Maura Healey said her office is not looking to shut down fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel, explaining that playing the companies’ games for cash is not illegal. “There’s no federal or state law that prohibits daily fantasy sports,” she said during the fourth LIVE Political Happy Hour, presented by Suffolk University in partnership with the Boston Globe.

But Healey pointed out that her office does have consumer protection concerns stemming from this week’s news that a DraftKings employee supposedly used insider information to win a rival company’s contest.

“It’s right that people are a little bit miffed today and this week with the revelations that they were literally playing against the house,” she said, “and not surprisingly the house made out pretty well.”

The interview with Globe reporter Joshua Miller, which took place on Oct. 7 in the cafe of Suffolk’s new academic building at 20 Somerset Street, was webcast live on

Healey held forth on topics ranging from Steve Wynn’s planned casino in Everett to her support for a bill that would ban discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations.

Healey said she’s focused on issues of addiction, and particularly the heroin and opioid crisis that is ravishing the state.

“What we see here in Massachusetts is that four out of five of our heroin users today started with painkillers, started with pills,” Healey said. “That’s one of the reasons our office is looking at some of the sales and marketing practices of pharmaceutical companies. We are in such a dire state right now. We need education, we need innovation, we need treatment, we need pharmaceutical companies to step up and be part of the solution, we need prescribers to make sure they are engaging in safe prescribing practices.”

Healey defended her decision not to return a campaign donation from the Teamsters Local 25, even after five of its members were indicted for extortion last week.

Miller pressed Healey on the issue, asking how the attorney general, whose website features a photo of her perched on a motorcycle wearing a leather vest emblazoned with the Teamsters Local 25 logo, can demonstrate that she is not too cozy with a union that her office could end up investigating.

“I couldn’t turn down sitting on a Harley,” Healey joked, before explaining that she stands by the values of the union and condemns the alleged actions of five of its members simultaneously.

The attorney general reiterated that she won’t run for governor in 2018, but said seeking higher office at some point in the future remains a possibility.

“I love my job,” she said. “I ran to do this job. I was serious. I’ve taken to it. I like it a lot, and I want to do a good job with it. It’s as simple as that.”

The interview featured some lighter moments. Miller asked Healey if she had any outside-of-work hobbies like, say, singing, and when Healey explained that she has not received any invitations to join a singing group, Suffolk University President Margaret McKenna was quick to supply one.

“I want to officially invite you, any time you have free time, to join our a cappella group, our show choir, our hip-hop dance team, or to practice with our basketball team,” McKenna said.

Healey did not seem keen on singing or dancing, but the attorney general, who played basketball at Harvard and as a professional in Austria, said she would love to join the Rams on the court during practice.