The daily fantasy industry, under siege for most of the last year, finally has a major victory. New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that legalizes DFS in that state.
In 2015, the Empire State quickly became the primary battleground regarding the question of whether the games constitute illegal gambling. Permitted by the same 2006 federal law that wiped out Internet gambling, the legality of daily fantasy sports has been relegated to the various states.
“Daily fantasy sports have proven to be popular in New York, but until now have operated with no supervision and no protections for players,” Cuomo said in a release, via ESPN.com. “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.”
Previously, the leading DFS companies (FanDuel and DraftKings) identified a small handful of states in which DFS would not be allowed. After the 2015 football season began (and possibly fueled by an advertising blitz that frustrated many and that put the industry in the crosshairs), several states began to take a hard look at whether daily fantasy should be regulated or eliminated.
Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see whether companies like FanDuel and DraftKings once again attempt to occupy a high profile, or whether they’ll take a more measured and muted approach. The DFS debate will continue in plenty of other states, but the green light in New York could give the industry the spark it needs to establish firmer footing elsewhere.