NJ on daily fantasy sports
Gov. Chris Christie announced that he signed a fantasy sports bill last week. It was passed by the NJ legislature in July.
Of course, DFS sites already operated in the state. That includes FastPick, a fantasy-style game that launched this summer at Resorts in Atlantic City. But this law gives all DFS operators legal clarity — apart from the state’s gaming laws — and puts them under a regulatory environment that is not too burdensome.
The new law taxes operators at a rate of 10.5 percent of gross revenue in the state. Beyond that, it subjects DFS sites and operators to regulations on a number of issues, including consumer protection.
Interestingly, the state’s Department of Gaming Enforcement is not in charge of enforcing and implementing the new law. That falls to the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.
The only seemingly difficult thing for DFS sites to comply with is the requirement to have a server located in AC.
DraftKings and FanDuel are happy
The new law is a legislative victory for the two biggest companies in the DFS space. Here’s some of a statement offered up by a spokesperson for DraftKings and FanDuel (the two companies work together on lobbying for new laws):
By taking this action, New Jersey is now the sixteenth state to enact a law protecting fantasy sports fans and guaranteeing their right to play the games they love, while establishing rules to protect consumers as the industry grows and ensure the continued integrity of fantasy sports contests.
The law establishes multiple layers of oversight, placing New Jersey at the forefront of consumer protection nationally, and creating a new source of tax revenue with major potential for growth in the state. On behalf of nearly 1.5 million fantasy sports fans in New Jersey, we want to thank Governor Christie and the legislature … for coming together on this bipartisan legislation.
Most other daily fantasy sports operators are also expected to set up shop in New Jersey.
Regulating daily fantasy is a trend
Fifteen other states had previously passed laws to deal with paid-entry fantasy sports, an industry that had seen tremendous growth in recent years.
Most of those laws are in much the same vein as New Jersey’s, requiring registration with the state, setting up basic regulations along with a taxation and/or licensing fee structure.
New Jersey is waiting for the sports betting prize
Casinos and racetracks can offer legal fantasy sports under the law, but it’s not clear if anyone else will join Resorts in doing so.
In reality, they are hoping New Jersey wins its sports betting case in the US Supreme Court. If victorious, gaming facilities in the state could move forward with sports gambling. DFS represents a relatively small opportunity when viewed alongside the possibility of legal sports betting.
Briefs from the state and the plaintiffs — the NCAA and major professional sports leagues — were due to SCOTUS today.
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