Dark day in Nevada with no fantasy sports
October 20, 2015 3:01 AM
by Alan Berg
It was a dark day in Vegas.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board last Thursday banned unlicensed daily fantasy sports saying any DFS site must apply for a Nevada gaming license. If you have heard any of the talk from DFS reps the quote is always the same, “it is not gambling, it’s a game of skill.”
And because they still operate in 45 states under that banner, there is zero chance DFS sites apply for a license. That means no FanDuel, no DraftKings, no Kountermove.
The time is probably running out for DFS to keep pretending they’re not gambling websites. I am sure that in lawyer speak they will use their loophole for as long as possible. Having partnerships with the major sports leagues and all that money will certainly buy time.
I understand what Nevada is trying to do but I still feel like it’s slimy. It is a way for our state to get headlines by banning DFS, when we are a pro-gambling state; it feels too much like a kid crying about the toy he didn’t get. Nevada should have given DFS more time to apply.
In the late 1990’s and throughout the 2000’s, the state and its casino leaders blew off fantasy as a fad and nothing to invest in. For an industry built around numbers it’s funny to me how a pool-based system wouldn’t always be at the top of the list of great ideas, especially with how tight these CEO’s or GM’s can be with the sportsbooks in their casinos. (I am sure that got a couple smiles from some book managers out there.)
I have played FanDuel since the beginning and love playing fantasy sports, which is why I write columns on it. Fantasy sports are gambling and gambling is not a bad thing. Eventually DFS will be licensed after it’s determined it is gambling but that will take time.
Sports betting should be available to any state that wants it just as fantasy sports should be available as well. That’s why it’s silly that it has been banned in Nevada. I am sure some will say, it’s about the fact they are unregulated…right. So when that actually happens do you think Nevada will let them operate without a gaming license? No chance.
Hopefully, what the NGCB did will have a domino effect (New Jersey sports betting) and actually get everything approved. Otherwise it might be time for me to move, there are plenty of bookies outside Nevada, right?
Alan Berg has 10-plus years of experience at Las Vegas sports books and prior to moving to Las Vegas covered sports for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Twitter: @vegasberserker Email: ABerg@GamingToday.com.