New York Legalizes Daily Fantasy Sports in Time for Football Season

With football season just weeks away, daily fantasy sports operators were finally given the green light to operate in the Empire State. On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that legalizes fantasy websites and provides the state Gaming Commission the authority to regulate them.

Under the new legislation, daily fantasy sites must obtain licenses from New York, and pay a tax equal to 15% of their revenue after prizes are deducted. State officials estimate that fantasy sites could generate as much as $4 million in annual tax revenue, which can only be used for education.

Previous to this law, fantasy sites operated with no regulation, and were not required to provide protection for its players. Mr. Cuomo said this piece of legislation “strikes the right balance that allows this activity to continue with oversight from state regulators, new consumer protections, and more funding for education.”

New York’s Senate passed the fantasy sports bill on June 18th. During the seven weeks that Mr. Cuomo waited before making it law, he was bombarded with phone calls, emails, and social media messages from enthusiastic fantasy supporters.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had charged websites FanDuel and DraftKings with illegal gambling last year. Both sites stopped operating in New York shortly afterward.

In response to the new legislation, Mr. Schneiderman said he will respect the law, but does plan to move forward with pending litigation against FanDuel and DraftKings for false advertising and consumer fraud claims regarding their previous conduct.