The battle to legalize daily fantasy sports throughout the United States took another positive step forward recently, with rulings in both Colorado and Missouri officially rendering DFS legal.
Missouri and Colorado Approve
Missouri officially gave the okay to daily fantasy sports operations in the state on June 10th, as Governor Jay Nixon signed bill HB 1941 into law. The move exempts DFS from any state gambling regulations, but did give the Missouri Gaming Commission oversight over all DFS operations inside the state.
Missouri’s new DFS law will officially be live in August, where daily fantasy sports operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel will be required to pay $10,000 in licencing fees or 10% or their total revenue. Missouri’s cut from the fees is slated to go toward education in the state.
Nixon suggested that lawmakers had a “responsibility” to protect online consumers, while also giving the state another way to bring in government income.
Colorado followed suit, with Governor John Hickenlooper signing on the dotted line to make DFS officially legal. Colorado has yet to finalize the state’s take on licensing fees and taxes, but daily fantasy sports was made legal with an eye on protecting consumer rights.
Eye on New York
With the recent additions of Colorado and Missouri, DFS legalization on the state level is starting to pick up steam, with the count of officially legal U.S. states reaching six. Colorado and Missouri join Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee and Mississippi, all of which have decided to give the DFS industry a pass this year.
The next big hit could come in New York, a spot DraftKings and FanDuel have struggled with. New York could be the key to unlocking the majority of the United States, as many states could soon follow if New York gives DFS the okay.
There hasn’t been much progress since New York booted DraftKings and FanDuel out of the state, but Fantasy Sports Trade Association president Peter Schoenke suggested recently that he is “cautiously optimistic” that New York will be one of the next states to legalize daily fantasy sports.
New York has been going over a proposed daily fantasy sports bill throughout June and looks to be coming to a conclusion in the near future on whether or not to officially go one way or the other.
The feedback has been positive thus far, with specific language in the bill even stating that DFS is not gambling.
That should work in the daily fantasy sports’ industry’s favor. Also working in DFS’ favor is the massive consumer base that was forced out of the state. Those numbers (57 million users) suggest major upside in terms of government income, in addition to company licensing fees and various taxes.
It is still very difficult to gauge if New York will be the seventh state to approve a daily fantasy sports bill, but the smoke is starting to clear. At this point, it’s looking a lot more optimistic and if we had to make a prediction, it’d be that New York will rule in favor and legalize daily fantasy sports. From there, daily fantasy sports should start to run through the U.S. and get a good amount of support to pass more bills. DFS being addressed more closely on a federal matter, of course, is an entirely different discussion.
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