New York Issues Temporary DFS Licenses
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) have now officially returned to the state of New York. On Monday, August 22nd, the New York State Gaming Commission issued temporary licenses to five DFS operators: DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, and Draft. Those five sites can now host daily fantasy games for real money within New York borders, just in time for the National Football League season, which is coming down the pike in just a couple of weeks.
After nearly a year of legal struggles between the two largest DFS operators, DraftKings and FanDuel, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill (S.8153/A.10736) on August 3rd which made daily fantasy legal in the state. The state legislature passed the measure in mid-June; the Assembly voting 91-22 in favor and the Senate coming in at a 45-17 vote. Though DFS obviously had plenty of support from lawmakers, the casino lobby pushed hard against the measure, probably for competitive reasons.
In a press release after signing the bill into law, Governor Cuomo said, “Daily fantasy sports have proven to be popular in New York, but until now have operated with no supervision and no protections for players. 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.”
The DFS sites still were not allowed to get back online in New York yet, though. Those who were operating in the state before November 2015, when AG Schneiderman filed an injunction against DraftKings and FanDuel, were permitted to apply for a temporary license, the same licenses that were issued yesterday. They will be required to apply for and be granted a full license when those applications become available.
The New York State Gaming Commission issued the following press release announcing the five licenses:
Commission issues temporary permits to interactive fantasy sports operators
The New York State Gaming Commission today issued temporary permits to interactive fantasy sports operators DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo, FantasyDraft and Draft. These companies may resume operations immediately in New York State.
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.
“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 Commission Executive Director Robert 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 temporary permits are on the Commission’s web site:
The Commission continues to review permit application materials from additional operators seeking to do business in New York State. Upon approval, their permits will be available on the Commission’s web site for public inspection as well.
To learn more about interactive fantasy sports in New York State, visit: www.gaming.ny.gov/ifs/.
FanDuel, which has always communicated with its customers about the legal goings-on, posted the following message on its site:
We are very excited to announce that the New York Gaming Commission has approved FanDuel’s temporary operating license in New York, allowing us to offer our paid contests in our home state. We want to thank Governor Cuomo and the New York legislature for bringing back our contests to millions of sports fans, which will be available to New York residents as of tonight. Lastly, we want to thank our users who supported us throughout and continue to tell their legislators across the country that this issue is important to them. We couldn’t have done it without all of you.
DraftKings and FanDuel, specifically, had been out of the New York market since March 2016 after agreeing to a settlement with AG Schneiderman. In exchange for the sites pulling out of New York, Schneiderman agreed to drop most of the charges levied against them in the injunction. These charges included promoting gambling, possession of gambling records, advertising fraud, violation of business corporate law and violation of general business law. The advertising and consumer fraud lawsuits are still in play.