Most sports fans in the Empire State just want to know when mobile NY sports betting might launch. DFS fans, though, should be aware of another key date.
By the sports betting in NY launches, it might be filling a hole left by daily fantasy sports. That is because of NY Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in October that finally should settle the legality of daily fantasy sports in New York.
The legality of DFS in New York has been up in the air for a few years now. Some state authorities began looking into DFS operations in 2015 after advertising blitzes from DraftKings and FanDuel left many wondering how they are regulated.
Timeline of NY DFS saga
There have been years of uncertainty for daily fantasy sports operators in New York:
- An attorney general opinion in 2015 called the contests illegal gambling. Operators were forced to leave the state.
- Operators came back, though, after legislation in 2016 passed to call DFS games of skill, not chance.
- A 2018 NY Supreme Court ruling on a private lawsuit that decided the contests are gambling and legalizing the contests illegally expanded gaming.
- That decision was upheld in 2020.
Should the Court of Appeals uphold those previous decisions, DFS could be missing in New York for a while. The only way to legalize the games at that point would be through a referendum.
Will players care with mobile NY sports betting on the way?
Whether or not players truly care about the outcome of DFS laws in New York might depend on the mobile betting product that will launch. That process is currently underway with bids due Monday.
There could be people who prefer their fantasy contests, though there is heavy crossover between sports bettors and DFS players.
It is possible DraftKings and FanDuel will not be that upset should the ruling go against them, either. The database of players both acquired over those years will be extremely valuable should either DraftKings Sportsbook or FanDuel Sportsbook be awarded a mobile betting license in the state.
While DFS still brings in revenue, both companies are primarily focused on the online sports betting and casino businesses in hyper-expansion mode across the US.