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DFS CEOs To Address Licensing Matters At Nevada Committee Meeting
By Brodey Sheppard - March 08, 2016
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins and FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles will attend a meeting of the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee on March 7 to discuss the matter regarding daily fantasy sports in the state.
In October 2015, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) stopped all operations of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), claiming that it constitutes gambling under state law. So the answer to the question, “is fantasy sports legal?” is yes, but in the state of Nevada, DFS operators who want to continue accepting customers within the state would have to apply for a gaming license. In the wake of this notice, all DFS operators exited the state.
Reactions from DFS Operators
When the NGCB ceased all operations of DFS, the operators issued their statements regarding the matter.
DraftKings released a statement saying: “We strongly disagree with this decision and will work diligently to ensure Nevadans have the right to participate in what we strongly believe is legal entertainment that millions of Americans enjoy.” DraftKings is currently operational and offers DFS enthusiasts to play fantasy sports free rolls without any charges when they sign up for the Draft Kings website.
A spokesperson of Yahoo Fantasy also spoke out about the matter. “Yahoo believes that its contests are lawful and we will continue to assess the legal environment for DFS while providing a compelling fantasy sports experience for all of our users.” Users can still join the ‘compelling fantasy sports experience’ by checking out the Yahoo Fantasy website.
FanDuel also released a statement echoing disappointment: “On behalf of our users in Nevada, FanDuel is terribly disappointed that the Nevada Gaming Control Board… This decision stymies innovation and ignores the fact that fantasy sports is a skill-based entertainment product loved and played by millions of sports fans… We are examining all options and will exhaust all efforts to bring the fun, challenge and excitement of fantasy sports back to our Nevada fans.” For users who want to continue using FanDuel, simply visit and sign up for the FanDuel Website.
Star Fantasy Leagues did not issue a statement but made it known that it was exiting Nevada. Similarly, FantasyScore announced that they are also “the process of exiting the state of Nevada.” DSF players can check out Star Fantasy Leagues reviews and FantasyScore reviews to see what the operators currently have to offer.
Hope for DFS in Nevada
Now, there are rumblings that Nevada might take a second look at DFS. Governor Brian Sandoval, the chairman of the Gambling Commission announced his intention to have the committee examine the issue. Sandoval reconvened the 12-member committee and tasked the group to create a feasible policy for DFS.
In a statement he said, “There is no better place in the world to host this important conversation than Nevada, and I look forward to working with this committee and its stakeholders to continue to set the pace and standards for global gaming industry.”
What Can the Committee Do for DFS?
It is important to note that the committee by itself has no actual power to create gaming laws in Nevada. But because the committee is constituted of highly influential people, any recommendations regarding DFS that the committee will forward shall be advanced to Nevada’s government.
Industry executives Jim Murren, CEO of MGM and Keith Smith, president of Boyd Gaming are on this committee. Both have publicly expressed that they think DFS is gambling and should in turn be regulated.
When asked about the legal definition of fantasy sports, Murren aggressively said, “who in the world thinks that FanDuel or DraftKings – who’s going to tell me that’s not gambling? Of course it’s gambling. But people are doing it, they are doing it all over the place. It’s not regulated.”
Rundown of the Meeting on March 7th
The meeting set up by Sandoval appears largely to be an educational session for the members, so they can formulate and execute a well-thought-out plan for DFS. The discussions will include the “Current Status of Gaming Technology and Daily Fantasy Sports in Nevada”, the “National and State Perspectives on Interactive Gaming, Gaming Technology and Daily Fantasy Sports” and the “History and Development of Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports Technology, Policy and Law”.
For the main event, the panel is entitled “Current and Future Options For Daily Fantasy Sports in Nevada”. This will be led by Eccles and Robins, as well as Joe Asher, the CEO of William Hill. Asher has spoken out about the legality of DFS and positive fantasy sports reviews.
It will be interesting to find out if Eccles, Robins and Asher will be able to showcase the best of fantasy sports. Both FanDuel and DraftKings have expressed their favor for a “common-sense” regulation of the DFS industry, but are these two willing to go through a rigorous licensing process that Nevada might want to implement?
DraftKings has already gotten a gaming license in the UK, and FanDuel is in the process of application. Both are reputable gaming websites, as reflected by DraftKings reviews and FanDuel fantasy reviews.
Since DraftKings and FanDuel have licences in the UK (and other operators have transferred elsewhere), would it still be necessary to obtain licences in Nevada? As of now, that question has no concrete answer. The important thing to remember, however, is that Nevada regulates just about everything when it comes to gaming. It might still be advantageous to set up camp in the betting capital of the world.