DraftKings CEO expects flurry of legalisation after NY vote

DraftKings CEO expects flurry of legalisation after NY vote

Monday, June 20, 2016 Totally Gaming
DFS should resume in New York in July

DraftKings chief executive Jason Robins said he expects other US states to accelerate bills that enshrine the legality of daily fantasy sports (DFS) after New York’s legislature voted to approve the sector.

Both houses in the state elected to legalise DFS on Friday and Saturday, with operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel able to resume operations in New York once Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the bill into law.

It is thought that operators will again begin to offer games in the state from July 1, just over three months after they agreed to cease following an agreement with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

It was Schneiderman who initially sent DraftKings and FanDuel cease-and-desist notices last November, claiming DFS was illegal in New York. Since then, attorneys general from a number of states, including the populous Texas and Illinois, made similar rulings, with lawmakers then proposing legislation that sought to legalise and regulate DFS.

“It’s a tremendous accelerator,” Robins told the Boston Globe newspaper. “Other states, I think, are going to act sooner now.”

The bill will allow DFS operators that were active in the state, prior to November 10, 2015, to continue temporarily offering DFS services until their application for registration has been approved or denied. 

Operators that are successful in their application will face a tax rate of 15 per cent on gross revenue and an additional 0.5-per-cent tax that will not exceed $50,000 (€44,100) annually.

Much of the debate in the Assembly, which eventually backed DFS by 91 votes to 22, focused on whether DFS constitutes gambling, and whether it would violate the state constitution to allow it.

Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, chair of the Assembly's racing and wagering committee and the sponsor of the bill, said: "We concluded this is not gambling. This is not a violation of the constitution. The legislative findings in this Legislature are that this is not gambling, and therefore not subject to the provisions of the constitution."

Schneiderman on Saturday said he would “enforce and defend” the new fantasy law, but still pursue his claims against DraftKings and FanDuel for misleading advertising and consumer fraud.

TotallyGaming.com says: “This is a huge development for DFS in North America, with an estimated 10 per cent of players said to reside in New York. Should other states follow suit, DraftKings, FanDuel and their peers should be back on track.”

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