Virginia governor signs daily fantasy bill
March 09, 2016 9:49 AM
by Phil Hevener
Leaders of the push to allow wagering on daily fantasy sports have been busy on two important fronts this week, recognizing Virginia as the first state in the country to approve a legal framework for DSF operations, and telling their story in Nevada.
Even as Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe was signing the Fantasy Contests Act into law, top executives with FanDuel and DraftKings were in Las Vegas discussing their industry with Gov. Brian Sandoval’s Gaming Policy Committee.
The Las Vegas gathering was a prelude to other committee sessions later this year to develop input for legislation that will go to next year’s session of the Nevada Legislature.
Sandoval recognizes the wide appeal of daily fantasy sports but as a former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission he also understands the importance of regulations that protect consumers while offering business opportunities.
DraftKings spokesman Griffin Finan said of the Virginia action, “Virginia has become the first state in the nation this year to put in place a thoughtful and appropriate regulatory framework to protect the rights of fantasy players. We thank the governor for his leadership and are hopeful that other states across the country will follow Virginia’s lead.”
Nevada’s official reaction to the DFS business is that it amounts to gambling and fantasy sports operators must therefore have sports book licenses.
Sandoval wants Nevada to be a major player in any element of the gaming business that is going to have the widespread appeal generated by fantasy sports. But the top officials at DraftKings and FanDuel have so far shown little interest in the tough, invasive licensing process that Nevada officials long ago decided is important to maintaining gaming’s multibillion-dollar a year revenue stream.
Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: PhilHevener@GamingToday.com.