New Jersey is again considering whether to explicitly legalize and regulate DraftKings, FanDuel and the rest of the daily fantasy sports industry.

The NJ daily fantasy sports bill resurfaces

A bill to regulate DFS in NJ — A3532 — actually surfaced last April. But it has laid dormant until this month. The bill is sponsored by assemblymembers Vincent Mazzeo, Ralph Caputo and John Burzichelli.

The bill passed out of the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee by a 7-0 vote on Monday.

The bill would add another form of regulated online gaming in the Garden State, after Atlantic City online casinos were legalized several years ago.

The NJ daily fantasy sports bill, at a glance

Here is a brief look at what the bill would do:

  • The bill clarifies that DFS is legal under state law as a game of skill.
  • The Department of Law and Public Safety is in charge of overseeing DFS, not the Department of Gaming Enforcement.
  • Operators must register to accept users in the state.
  • Registered operators are subject to a fee equal to 9.25 percent of a site’s gross revenue generated in the state.
  • Casinos may offer DFS, if registered.
  • Operators must adhere to a variety of consumer protections, including a ban on DFS employee play and minors under 18; instituting problem gambling measures; provisions to make sure sites segregate player funds and operational funds.
  • At least one server of a DFS operator must be located in Atlantic City.

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The backstory of NJ and DFS

New Jersey was one of the first states to take a look at regulating DFS, back in 2015. And although a number of bills have cropped up in the past year, little action has been taken on the issue. One piece of legislation — the companion to the current Assembly bill — did reach the full Senate, but it never got to a vote in the upper chamber.

When the issue first came in front of the statehouse, some members of the legislature wanted to avoid a DFS bill while the state’s sports betting case was still active. New Jersey, of course, has tried to legalize sports betting for years. The US Supreme Court is weighing whether to hear an appeal in the NJ sports betting case.

The line of thought from lawmakers was that enacting a DFS law could jeopardize the ongoing case. The movement of this bill may indicate that sentiment has changed.

Image credit: Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock, Inc.

Dustin Gouker

About

Aside from his role as editor at LegalSportsReport.com, Dustin Gouker writes extensively about the legal online gaming and US online poker industries, having played poker recreationally for his entire adult life. He has also covered sports for The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, among others.