FanDuel happy as NY legalizes fantasy sports

FanDuel co-founders Nigel Eccles, Lesley Eccles and Tom Griffiths

Fantasy sports operator FanDuel — based in Edinburgh and Manhattan — welcomed the news that Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to legalize interactive fantasy sports in New York State.

The new bill requires that fantasy sports companies like FanDuel must register with, and operate under regulations issued by, the New York State Gaming Commission.

It is expected that once fully implemented, the legislation will generate $4 million in revenue to fund New York State education aid.

“Daily fantasy sports have proven to be popular in New York, but until now have operated with no supervision and no protections for players,” Cuomo said.

“This legislation strikes the right balance that allows this activity to continue with oversight from state regulators, new consumer protections, and more funding for education.”

FanDuel chief executive Nigel Eccles said: “On behalf of more than three million fantasy players across the state and our entire company, we want to sincerely thank Governor Cuomo and members of the state legislature — led by bill sponsors Senator John Bonacic, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Speaker Carl Heastie — for bringing fantasy sports back to New York.

“This success in New York speaks to the strength and passion of our players who stood up and made their voices heard — and their elected leaders responded.

“New York marks a capstone achievement in a remarkable year for fantasy sports.

“Last fall, amidst national controversy, some pundits put fantasy sports on death watch.

“But when the calendar turned to 2016 and fantasy sports fans had the opportunity to be heard and legislators had the opportunity to act, the dynamic quickly shifted, and one by one states began to recognize this is a game loved by millions – millions who should be able to play and deserve the basic protections afforded to consumers in all major industries.”

Eccles said that since January, eight states – Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, and now New York – have passed laws clarifying the legality of fantasy sports and creating strong consumer protection regulations.