Discussion a step forward for daily fantasy sports

March 08, 2016 3:00 AM
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Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval convened the panel of gaming industry leaders, experts and regulators to discuss daily fantasy sports wageringFinally, some hope for fantasy sports becoming part of state licensing.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval convened the panel of gaming industry leaders, experts and regulators to discuss daily fantasy sports wagering and the benefits it could bring to the state if legalized.

The state Gaming Control Board last fall received a legal opinion that fantasy sports – contests involving individual player’s accumulation of statistics over multiple games – should be allowed in Nevada if companies that run them are vetted and licensed by gaming regulators.

About 100 people gathered at Las Vegas City Hall to hear testimony and discussion about the issue. The biggest anticipation was for appearances by Jason Robins, CEO of Draft Kings, and Nigel Eccles, CEO of FanDuel, two of the industry leaders in daily fantasy sports, later Monday.

Draft Kings and FanDuel have been shut down in several states where attorneys have determined daily fantasy sports are a form of gambling and therefore illegal. Daily fantasy sports advocates say their contests are games of skill and not gambling.

In Nevada, the attitude is different. The state has provisions for skill-based gaming, but local regulators say the games should be allowed as long as companies are licensed and consumers are protected.

In the morning session, Tony Alamo, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, and A.G. Burnett, chairman of the state Gaming Control Board, both non-voting members of the committee, offered background on how daily fantasy sports emerged on the local scene.

Geoff Freeman, CEO of the American Gaming Association, Virginia Valentine, executive director of the Nevada Resort Association, and Marcus Prater, executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, voiced support for legalizing fantasy sports as a means to expand business and create new interest in wagering for the growing millennial generation.

Valentine said fantasy sports and the emerging eGaming industry are viewed as potential revenue generators in the future.

Email: Publisher@GamingToday.com.

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