Daily fantasy sports, and fantasy football in particular, were in the news a lot last year when they were made illegal in New York. They were classified as gambling, and seeing as how they're played online, they were said to be illegal under anti-gambling laws. The state attorney general tried to shut these games down, angering the tens of thousands of people who were playing them.
That's all over now. A new law was just passed, with just a few days before the first preseason football games of the year, and these daily fantasy sports are legal again.
Chance or Skill?
The problem last year was that the attorney general said that the games were just based on chance and luck, like playing the slot machines or other types of online gambling. Those who liked the games contended that they were far more than just luck, but were games of skill. For example, advanced statistical analysis of NFL player tendencies could help daily sports fanatics predict when specific players were going to have a good game. It's not a perfect science, but they argued that it was still far more skill-oriented than just picking random players and hoping to get lucky.
The new law agrees. It says that the games are games of skill, not chance, and so they're not illegal under gambling laws.
Oversight and Money
The government says that the new law gives daily fantasy sports the oversight they need while operating, which they didn't have before. It's also worth noting, though, that a lot of money is involved. The law makes the companies involved pay a fee that could be as high as $50,000 annually. They also have to pay taxes on the revenue they take in at a rate of 15 percent.
Additional changes include the fact that only those who are 18 and older are allowed to play. Only professional sports can be used, as high school sports and college sports are banned.
Getting Back in the Game
Clearly, the state was able to cash in on this deal, as daily fantasy sports have turned into a billion-dollar industry. Still, with the new law on the books, it's important for the companies involved to know what legal steps they must follow under the direction of the state Gaming Commission to operate lawfully in 2016.
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