New York lawmakers approve DFS regs

June 21, 2016 3:00 AM


The New York Legislature’s approval of daily fantasy sports betting puts DFS back in a center stage position as Nevada regulators prepare to act this week on the request of a Las Vegas company for a sportsbook license interested in bringing a different look to the business.

The New York measure goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo who is expected to sign the bill that was passed during the early hours of Saturday morning. The law will become effective upon getting his signature. DFS companies could be back in business by July 1, just in time for the upcoming football season.

The Nevada Gaming Commission is expected to approve the application of Vic Salerno, who expects to start a company to be known as U.S. Fantasy. Salerno plans to be in business by August, offering his approach to fantasy wagering on a pari-mutuel platform. All he and his partners need is final approval by the Commission.

Salerno was reluctant to talk about where USF will accept wagers saying he did not want to get out in front of the need for approval by the Commission.

But it is known Salerno and his partners have been talking to racetrack executives around the country looking for expressions of interest.

Customers will put their wagers down just as they would for a race.

“We’re just substituting human athletes for horses,” Salerno said.

Salerno did not want to discuss USF prospects in New York until he has a chance to familiarize himself with the legislation there.

USF is presenting itself as a “game of skill” rather than gambling. That also appears to be the case in New York where the new legislation will alleviate pressure on DraftKings and FanDuel, the two giants in the DFS business.

They were ordered to shut down in New York pending the outcome of efforts to get favorable legislation. The New York attorney general ruled that DFS activities amounted to illegal gambling rather than games of skill.

DFS advocates hope to see similar legislation in California.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: