New York Battles Over Daily Fantasy Sports

Published March 1, 2016 by Elana K

New York Battles Over Daily Fantasy Sports

New York state Senator John Bonacic introduced new bill to regulate Daily Fantasy Sports; Bonacic is also the driving force behind a new bill to regulate online poker.

Over the past few months, the question of the legality of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) has been raging across the United States, with many online casinos calling for either the banning or regulation of its games. While DFS argues that its activities should not be considered gambling as there is considerable skill involved, online casinos don’t agree. They claim that enough luck is involved in DFS to warrant regulation, just as online gambling warrants regulation - and many states, such as Nevada, Massachusetts, Mississippi and New York, are inclined to agree.

In New York, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had ordered the two main DFS companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, to stop all operations. Of course, the two DFS operators are not taking this lying down, and last week filed their most recent paperwork in the ensuing legal battle.

Last week also, however, saw a positive development for DFS, with New York state Senator John Bonacic introducing a new bill to regulate the activity. Bonacic’s bill calls for the exemption of DFS from activities considered “gambling” in New York, and would establish a separate division to deal with fantasy sports and consumer protection. At the same time that the bill protects DFS, it also calls for light regulations in the form the taxation of DFS revenue and a deposit from DFS operators against future tax obligations.

While Bonacic is pushing for an exemption for DFS, he is also supporting a new bill that would legalize online poker in the Empire State. The bill was approved by a Senate committee earlier this month, and was then forwarded to the Senate Finance committee, which has not yet scheduled a date for a hearing.

Bonacic’s online poker bill would allow up to 10 online poker licensees in New York, all of which would have to pay a $10 million license fee and 15% of gross gaming revenue. If approved, New York could become the fourth state to offer regulated online gambling.

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