DFS regulation architect welcomes New York deal

DFS regulation architect welcomes New York deal

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Totally Gaming
Sen John Bonacic's bill would create a licensed framework for the fantasy sports sector

The agreement that has seen DraftKings and FanDuel exit New York until the introduction of a new regulatory regime has been backed by the man whose legislation is likely to be adopted by the state later this year.

Following a deal struck with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the two daily fantasy sports (DFS) companies will stop offering paid contests in New York until September, when the primary appeal regarding the legality of the sector in the state is scheduled to be heard. The dramatic development comes after months of dispute following Schneiderman’s declaration that DFS constitutes illegal gambling.

There are a number of bills currently on the table that would formally legalise and regulate DFS in New York, but the most likely to succeed is S 6793, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic, head of the state’s Racing and Gaming Committee. 

S 6793 would create a Fantasy Sports Contests Division within the Financial Frauds and Consumer Protection Unit to promulgate regulations and license operators. Licensed operators would pay a one-time fee of $500,000 (€445,000) and be taxed at a rate of 15 per cent on gross revenue generated by players in New York. Finally, contests involving collegiate sporting events or horse races would be banned.

“Previously, I stated that regulation of interactive fantasy sports was one of my budget priorities," Bonacic said. "The announcement of the settlement between the Attorney General and two of the largest fantasy sports operators brings this issue to the forefront and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, and the Governor, to see it addressed during the budget process.”

Speaking about the settlement with the Attorney General, a DraftKings spokesman said: “We are an industry leader in technology, innovation and consumer protections, and we are grateful to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who have enjoyed playing fantasy sports on DraftKings for the last four years. We will continue to work with state lawmakers to enact fantasy sports legislation so that New Yorkers can play the fantasy games they love.”

Schneiderman added in a statement: “As I've said from the start, my job is to enforce the law, and starting today, DraftKings and FanDuel will abide by it. This agreement also creates an expedited path to resolve this litigation should that law change or upon a decision by the appellate division.”


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