NY fantasy sports hinge on Gov. Cuomo; legal claims remain

Len Don Diego marketing manager for content at the Draft Kings daily fantasy sports company works at his station at the company's offices in Boston. Draft Kings and Fan Duel are downplaying media reports this week
NY fantasy sports hinge on Gov. Cuomo; legal claims remain

19 June, 2016

The New York State Senate passed a bill early Saturday morning declaring that fantasy sports do not constitute gambling, ESPN reports.

The measure was approved by the Assembly and Senate, but not Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who joined the Legislature on several other measures Friday.

It was introduced after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said a year ago that the games amounted to illegal gambling.

If enacted, the bill would permit the largest and best capitalized operators, FanDuel and DraftKings, to return to the ny market in time for the critical American football season. On top of those who believe that daily fantasy games are inherently stacked against most players and invite compulsive behavior, New York's casino industry is anxious that the contests undermine existing gambling.

The industry claims it has more than three million customers in NY. The business could face a key legislative vote on its future in New York Thursday.

"We would like to thank Senator John Bonacic and Assembly Member Gary Pretlow for their leadership on this ISSue", Robins continued.

FanDuel and DraftKings have long argued their contests are games of skill, not chance.

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The merger talk was believed to be a product of increased regulatory scrutiny and uncertainty that has cut into the bottom lines of these Internet unicorns.

Cuomo hasn't indicated whether he'll sign the law, and his spokesman said Saturday that aides were reviewing the bill.

Cuomo, a Democrat, hasn't signaled whether he supports the legislation, which was subject to lengthy negotiations and intense lobbying in the days and weeks leading up to the vote. A private accounting firm told ESPN that New Yorkers were responsible for $268.3 million in entry fees, second only in the country to California.

State Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, sponsored legislation that would legalize daily fantasy sports as well as create a framework to tax the industry. "The company also stated that the bill will, "Solidify New York State as an incubator for this fast-growing piece of the technology industry", adding that almost 30 fantasy sports companies are based in New York".

"It's also a win for the state for the millions of dollars it will generate".

The bill would ban any contests based on school sports or horse racing, and would identify both "highly experienced" players (such as employees) as well as the accurate odds of winning. All taxes, interest and penalties will be sent to the state Lottery Fund for education, according to the bill.

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