New York Governor Signs Bill to Allow Daily Fantasy Sports

ALBANY, N.Y.— (Associated Press) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Wednesday to allow the resumption of daily fantasy sports in New York.

The measure calls the popular online contests a “game of skill.” That legal definition resolves the central argument in a lawsuit brought against the country’s two top fantasy-sports companies by the state attorney general. He had likened the online matches to illegal gambling operations based on chance.

“This legislation strikes the right balance that allows this activity to continue with oversight from state regulators, new consumer protections and more funding for education,” Mr. Cuomo said.
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The state Gaming Commission planned to post on its website Wednesday instructions for operators of the games to obtain temporary registrations.

The law requires they pay an annual fee of as much as $50,000 with a 15% tax on their revenue. It also bars anyone younger than 18 years old from playing, and it prohibits college and high school sports.

In the games, players assemble a roster of athletes in a sport, using the individuals’ actual performance statistics to determine the winner. They pay entry fees and win prizes for outperforming other contestants’ rosters.

In March, New York-based FanDuel Inc. and Boston’s DraftKings agreed to stop operations in New York pending the passage of a law that would resolve the ambiguity.
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Daily fantasy sports sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel are in danger of being shut down after some state officials began raising questions over the sites’ entry fees and payouts. The legal battle comes down to a question of whether the online contests are gambling using skill or luck. (Originally published Nov. 27, 2015)

But under the stipulation with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, they couldn’t start operating again until Mr. Cuomo signed the bill into law.

Mr. Schneiderman said he would enforce the new law. The amended lawsuit will continue against DraftKings and FanDuel alleging consumer fraud and false advertising for prior operations in New York, he said.

FanDuel chief executive Nigel Eccles said that since January, seven other states—Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia—also have passed laws clarifying the legality of fantasy sports and setting consumer-protection regulations. He thanked New York lawmakers and the governor “on behalf of more than three million fantasy players across the state.”

Jason Robins, chief executive of DraftKings, said his company is excited to have its contests returning to New York and want to thank the “hundreds of thousands of New York supporters for their passion and loyalty over the past several months.”

Neither company commented on the lawsuit.

By CCostigan
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