Gaming policy group to examine fantasy sports

Jan 18, 2016 11:57 AM

Daily fantasy sports needs the attention of Nevada’s Gaming Policy Committee.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, a former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, has filed an order with the secretary of state’s office saying he wants the 12-member Group to come up with policy that will address possibilities for fitting daily fantasy sports into the menu of business options in Nevada.

The Gaming Control Board has ruled that the games cannot be offered in Nevada unless the operator has a sports book license.

Veteran bookmaker Vic Salerno has said he is filing for a license to operate U.S. Fantasy, which will be offered as a pari-mutuel option. Salerno hopes to have USF up and running by late summer, using the existing infrastructure that connects local books with tracks around the country.

Sandoval said in a statement that there is not a better place than Nevada for a discussion about daily fantasy sports and its place in Nevada’s number one industry.

“I look forward,” Sandoval said, “to working with this committee and its stakeholders to continue to set the pace and standards for the global gaming industry.”

Fantasy gaming activity is already the subject of intense discussion in other states where attorneys general and lawmakers have come down on all sides of the issue, some of them declaring it is illegal gaming that must be shut down, others saying, ok, so it’s illegal but what needs to be done to make it legal.

Still others, such as Massachusetts, have drafted regulations to allow its regulation.

Many legislators and gaming industry leaders see daily fantasy sports as a doorway for approaching a conversation about a plan for expanding the wide-open sports betting that is available only in Nevada.

The governor chairs the Gaming Policy Committee, which includes gaming license holders, members of the legislature, gaming regulators and members of the general public.

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