Nevada was one of the first states to raise concerns over the daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry over the fact that the DFS games were similar to casino games and hence must be regulated, like the casino industry. Nevada decided to ban DFS operators from providing services within the state in 2015 and soon after a number of other states such as New York, Illinois and Hawaii also took a similar stance.
Now, legislators in Nevada have decided to discuss the issues surrounding the DFS industry and are open to the possibility of allowing DFS operators to function in the state as long as they can agree on the framework that will govern the industry. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval recently commissioned the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee to once again commence meetings in order to find solutions for the DFS industry.
The committee had its first meeting in 2016 which was attended by a number of key casino executives, state legislators, gaming regulators and top executives from DFS companies DraftKings and FanDuel. The meeting was chaired by Brian Sandoval who said that Nevada must be open to the possibility of expanding and embracing new ideas and possibilities in the 21st century in order for the state to continue to be a leader in the ever competitive gambling industry.
State regulators are willing to allow DFS operators to provide their services in the state if they are willing to agree that DFS games are similar to casino games and apply for a traditional gambling license. Since DFS operators continue to oppose the fact that their games are gambling related and based on chance, panel members were also willing to consider the possibility of creating a new gaming license that will be exclusively for the DFS industry.
Tony Alamo, the Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman stated that he was very clear that the DFS industry needed to be regulated for it to operate in Nevada but his concerns were based on finding a framework that would regulate the industry and protect the citizens of Nevada from being exploited by shady operators and rigged games.
Jason Robins, the CEO for DraftKings, expressed his support and stated that DFS operators were looking forward to working with Nevada legislators and resolving issues quickly so that DFS operators can function freely within the state.
In a statement, Robins said “We’re all for regulation. We just want to make sure it’s thoughtful and appropriate for our industry and that we aren’t placed into a box simply because that’s the existing box.”
The casino industry which was represented by Geoff Freeman from the American Gaming Association stated that they had no objections against the DFS industry and wanted all issues to be sorted quickly as casinos would also like to offer DFS games to their patrons.