Football fans and sports betting enthusiasts all across New York are singing the praises of the state’s gaming regulators today after they diligently scoured the text of hundreds of pages worth of submissions from daily fantasy sports operators seeking a license to continue operations in the state – before the start of the 2016-17 NFL season.
Five of the top DFS sites in the nation were approved for a temporary permit yesterday by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC). Those permits went into instant effect, giving qualifying DFS brands the right to “resume operations immediately”.
The five operators who were issued temporary waivers include the two top DFS sites, DraftKings and FanDuel, which share approximately 95% of the US market, along with Draft, FantasyDraft and Yahoo. These operators will still need to get approval for full licenses once regulatory guidelines are completed, but the temporary waivers give them permission to begin accepting New York DFS bettors now.
“The Commission has completed a legally required thorough review of the temporary permit applications from these five companies, ensuring required consumer protections, player safeguards and advertising restrictions are in place,” read the announcement from the NYSGC.
Executive Director Robert Williams elaborated on what that means for DFS betting enthusiasts in the Empire State, particularly the fact that they can participate in DFS betting on state-regulated sites with the assurance of knowing their activities are protected by legislative “safeguards”.
“As the newly enacted law requires, the Commission regulates all aspects of interactive fantasy sports, including ensuring the operators put important consumer protections in place,” said Williams. “While the Commission continues work on formal regulations for these games, these temporary permits get companies up and running in New York State while assuring resident players that safeguards are in place.”
The commission went on to explain that it is still reviewing the applications of other DFS operators who’ve submitted paperwork in hopes of providing their services to New York residents.
Furthermore, residents can easily determine which operators are, or are not, legally capable of accepting players who are physically located in New York. As the NYSCG noted, “their permits will be available on the Commission’s web site for public inspection”, and can be viewed here.
The rapid return of legal DFS betting in New York was something Governor Andrew Cuomo obviously felt passionate about. Following NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s opinion that daily fantasy sports was just another form of gambling – thereby making it illegal in New York – the state’s top DFS sites were forced to exit the market.
Lawmakers went to work almost immediately, drafting legislation to legalize and regulate the fantasy sports industry in such a way so to provide consumer protections, taxation and other licensing requirements. According to those regulations, approved DFS sites must pay an annual $50k licensing fee plus 15% on gross gaming revenue generated from NY-based customers.
Earlier this month, the Governor signed the bill into effect, and the top DFS sites wasted no time submitting their applications and corresponding fees. It only took regulators a matter of three weeks to weed through the paperwork and hand out temporary waivers, getting fantasy sports operators back up and running just in time for the start of the NFL Season in September.