New York Assembly approves daily fantasy sports

20 June 2016

The New York Assembly has voted to approve daily fantasy sports (DFS) games, with operators now able to resume offering contests in the US state.

Lawmakers on Friday voted 91-22 in favour of the measure, concluding that DFS competitions are not gambling and do not violate New York’s constitution, with the state Senate also giving its approval to the bill.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo now has 10 days to sign the bill into law.

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% on gross revenue and an additional 0.5% tax that will not exceed $50,000 (€44,100) annually.
“We concluded this is not gambling. This is not a violation of the constitution,” Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, chairman of the Assembly’s racing and wagering committee and the sponsor of the bill, said according to the website.

“The legislative findings in this legislature are that this is not gambling, and therefore not subject to the provisions of the constitution.

“Three and a half million New Yorkers want to participate in these games.”

In November, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent cease-and-desist letters to DraftKings and FanDuel, arguing that DFS constituted online gambling and therefore violated state laws.

Although DraftKings and FanDuel remained active in the state for some months after this ruling, in March they agreed to halt services until September, when the state had agreed to a primary appeal over the legality of DFS in New York.

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