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Assemblyman Pretlow introduces bill to regulate DFS in New York

New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow has introduced his long-awaited bill to regulate daily fantasy sports (DFS) in the state, proposing a 15 per cent tax on revenue and three-year licences for eligible operators.

The bill, A10473, aims to amend the New York Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law by adding a new article which covers the registration and regulation of online fantasy sports contests.

“This bill offers important consumer protections to ensure that all contests are safe and fair,” Pretlow said. “Requirements such as limiting players to one active and continuously used account, offering introductory procedures for players, identifying highly experienced players, and depicting accurate representations concerning the chances of winning in all advertisements will help to provide transparency and fairness across all platforms.

“Measures to protect the privacy and online security of players and their accounts, and requiring registrants to protect players' funds upon deposit, as well as segregate such funds from the companies' operating funds, would provide players with important safety and security protections online.”

The proposed law would allow any operator that was offering contests to New York residents prior to November 10th, 2015, to file an application for registration with the New York State Gaming Commission within ninety days of the legislation passing. During the application process, operators would be allowed to continue DFS contests in the state, pending the outcome of the application.

Applicants will be required to pay a registration fee based on DFS revenue, with a $100,000 registration fee for operators with revenue exceeding $200,000, falling to $25,000 for revenue of between $100,000 and $200,000. Smaller operators who generate revenue of $100,000 or less will pay a $5,000 registration fee.

Approved operators will be required to renew their licences every three years, paying a renewal fee based on their revenue in the year prior to renewal.

All contests on collegiate or high school sporting events will be prohibited under the legislation, and no contests can be organised for horse racing.

Operators would be taxed at 15 per cent of interactive fantasy sports gross revenue, with Pretlow stating that this would cover the cost of regulation.

Should it be passed into law the bill would come into force immediately. It has been referred to the Assembly’s Racing and Wagering Committee for further scrutiny.

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