New York politician ponders federal change to legalise DFS

New York politician ponders federal change to legalise DFS

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 Totally Gaming
Dean Murray has introduced two bills in relation to fantasy sports

A New York assemblyman has tabled a bill that would seek to change federal betting laws and the state constitution in a bid to legalise daily fantasy sports (DFS).

Dean Murray has introduced two separate pieces of legislation in response to the possible state ban on DFS that was imposed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last month. DFS operators could find out this week if they will be allowed to continue operating in New York ahead of a full hearing in 2016.

Murray’s A08587 bill would amend an article of the state constitution that involves gambling by making an exception for fantasy sports, but includes the admission that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 (PASPA) would have to be repealed at federal level.

This constitutional amendment bill would change section 9 of article 1 to outlaw gambling “except for fantasy sports wagering on professional sports which may be authorised by the legislature, in a manner prescribed by the legislature for offering and conducting gaming and wagering, provided however, that such authorisations shall be preceded by the elimination of the federal ban on professional sports wagering”.

“The bill is a contingency measure,” Murray said. “If the courts rule that these sites do constitute gambling, this measure serves as the first step in a constitutional amendment process in granting fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings exemptions.”

Murray’s A08588 bill states that DFS contests would be “exempted” from the “contest of chance” language in New York’s penal code.

The two articles of legislation come in addition to a bill sponsored by Felix Ortiz, which seeks to add DFS to the state gambling code and therefore be regulated by the state’s gaming commission.

“I’m hopeful that if the courts don’t overturn what is clearly a bad decision from the Attorney General, my legislation will,” Murray said.

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