New York Has Less Than A Month To Pass DFS Legislation
Legal Sports Report

New Daily Fantasy Sports Bill In New York Appears Set To Drop This Week

Pretlow says NY DFS bill coming
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The much-anticipated and long-awaited New York daily fantasy sports bill from Assemblymember Gary Pretlow appears to be on its way this week, a move that would seemingly pave the way for legalization of the industry in the battleground state.

DraftKings and FanDuel have not been operating in New York since March as a part of a settlement with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, aimed at getting to a legislative solution on DFS.

The latest on the NY DFS bill

Momentum — at least publicly — for a bill regarding daily fantasy sports has been at a standstill since February. That is when the last piece of legislation, from Sen. John Bonanic, was introduced.

Reports from Pretlow’s constituents from the past week point to the idea that we will see a fantasy sports bill authored by the assemblymember this week. Including this:

When Pretlow spoke to attendees at the iGaming North America conference in early April, he had indicated a bill would be introduced by late April.

Legal Sports Report has reached out to Pretlow’s office for confirmation and details about the legislation.

Why no action until now in New York?

The amount of time between the Bonacic bill and the Pretlow bill could mean a lot of things. The most likely scenario, however, is that the heavy lifting on this bill is being done behind the scenes. That stands in contrast to the process in other states, where legislation has been publicly debated and amended.

If the bill is being vetted behind closed doors, we could see a fast turnaround on the bill, in which it would quickly see committee votes and passage by the Assembly and/or Senate. Of course, any action would have to happen relatively quickly — the legislature adjourns June 16.

Numerous sources — from inside and outside of the DFS industry — have expressed optimism to Legal Sports Report that a fantasy sports bill will become law in New York.

Pretlow’s Committee on Racing and Wagering already held a public hearing on DFS in December.

What will be in the Pretlow DFS bill?

The fact that Pretlow has been holding back on introducing the legislation would seem to indicate it differs in some material ways from the original Bonacic bill.

How might it differ?

  • Pretlow always seems to emphasize “consumer protections” in his public comments and in interacting with constituents. It’s fair to assume the bill will be more rigorous on this front.
  • Since the Bonacic bill popped up, the concerns of smaller DFS operators — i.e. not DraftKings and FanDuel — have been voiced and listened to by staff for Pretlow and Bonacic. Pretlow could be creating a licensing/tax structure that allows smaller ops to be in the NY market.
  • The casino industry hasn’t really weighed in on the DFS bill in a public or meaningful way in New York. At least one NY gaming licensee — Rush Street Gaming — has acted as a foil to regulation in another state (Illinois). It’s unclear how or if this could manifest itself in the Pretlow bill/New York.
Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.
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