Business Notes: Rockville Credit Union Merges with PenFed
Plus: State’s new daily fantasy sports rules go into effect; Maryland welcomes more than 40 million visitors in 2015
PenFed merges with Rockville-based Energy Federal Credit Union
Tysons-based PenFed Credit Union completed the merger with Energy Federal Credit Union over New Year’s weekend, according to the Washington Business Journal. The merger adds Energy’s $102 million in assets, 11,000 members and 36 employees to PenFed, the Washington region’s second-largest credit union after Navy Federal. It also gives PenFed a new Rockville branch.
New rules for daily fantasy sports games in Maryland
The new regulations that went into effect Monday are designed to make the games, which players wage money on, more fair and ensure that winners pay Maryland taxes, according to state Comptroller Peter Franchot. The following regulations are now in place for the daily fantasy games, although they don’t apply to season-long fantasy leagues:
- A ban on Marylanders under the age of 18 playing the games as well as anyone employed by operators of the games;
- A ban on games based on amateur or college sports;
- A requirement that game operators identify players that are highly experienced;
- A ban on the use of third-party created scripts that allow experienced players to gain advantages over more casual players;
- A $1,000 per month limit on the amount of deposits players can make unless they proactively ask an operator to raise their limits;
- A ban on game operators extending credit to a player; and
- A requirement that game operators hold player funds separate from company funds and establish a reserve fund sufficient to pay out all prizes they offer.
The daily fantasy games on websites such as Draftkings and FanDuel typically pit a player against another player or several others who have each wagered a specific amount on a lineup of athletes chosen from various teams in a specific sport. The player whose lineup performs the best wins the money, with the game operator taking a cut, typically about 10 percent.
Maryland tourism revenue reaches $17 billion
The state announced Wednesday that visitors to Maryland spent about $17 billion on travel expenses in 2015, the latest data provided. A report released by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development noted the state welcomed about 40.5 million visitors in 2015, a 6 percent increase from 2014. Visitors spent about 60 percent of their money on food, beverage, lodging and transportation—accounting for about $2.3 billion in state and local tax revenue, according to the report. An estimated 143,000 state residents were employed in the tourism industry in 2015, making it the 10th largest private sector employer in Maryland.