NY legislature evaluating growing fantasy sports industry

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For many sports fans, their love for the game goes beyond just watching it on TV picking that fantasy draft league is many people’s favorite part of the whole season.

As the industry continues to grow, the state is also keeping a close eye to make sure that the industry does not veer into a more gambling role.

Skill or luck? Those are the options that faced the state legislature not too long ago when it came time to evaluate the growing fantasy sports industry.

“Two years ago it was a real question of whether you would even be able to play these fantasy sports games in the state,” Peter Schoenke, Chairman of Fantasy Sports Trade Association, said.

This is when the state legislature decided the game was more about skill and declared fantasy sports to be legal, but with it also came new regulations.

“The New York bill has also served as a template for fantasy sports bills across the country and several states have since enacted similar laws,” Ari Borod, Vice President of FanDuel, Inc., said.

“We want to see if the revenue is coming in like we were told that it is going to come in. We want to make sure that our citizens are being protected,” Assemblyman Peter Lawrence (R-Rochester) said.

Last year, online fantasy sports generated over $3 million for the state, which like taxes on gambling, all goes toward funding education.

“We particularly want to make sure the people playing the games are number one financially able to play the games, but also number two legally able to play the games.”

“Prior to being able to deposit funds or enter a contest on FanDuel you will need to provide your name, address, and date of birth and we use a third-party verification service which verifies your information against public records to make sure to ensure you are who you say you are,” Borod said.

Many in the industry still feel like some of the regulations can be improved so they can offer new games such as fantasy soccer and golf.

“I think if there is a market for it lets do it,” Assemblyman Lawrence said.

“Some of those little regulatory things that make doing business in the state a little more troublesome..we’re just trying to smooth those out,” Schoenke said.

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