Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Still Not on Governor Cuomo’s Desk, DraftKings Launches Dud in Britain

on June 28, 2016
daily fantasy sports DFS Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking his time in calling for the passed daily fantasy sports bill, legislation that he is expected to sign into law before the start of the NFL season. (Image: cnn.com)

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) was passed by the New York Legislature in the early morning hours of June 18, but as of today it’s still illegal to play the online contests.

Senate Bill 8153 will mandate DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel to obtain an operating license. After the online sites disperse their customer’s winnings, the net revenues will be taxed at an effective rate of 15.5 percent.

Following the State Assembly’s approval and subsequent State Senate’s 45-17 vote, the proposition only requires Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) signature to become law. Now 10 days later, Cuomo still hasn’t signed the legislation.

“The governor calls for bills, we don’t just send them to him in a lump,” Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee Chairman Gary Pretlow (D-District 89) told the New York Daily News. “I’m pretty sure the governor is going to sign it.”

Call Me Maybe

Pretlow and SB 8153 author State Senator John Bonacic (R-District 42) are hoping the governor calls for the DFS bill in the coming days.

Once Cuomo requests the bill to his desk, he has 10 days to sign or veto the legislation. If he does neither, the bill still becomes law.

Cuomo is expected to sign the document due to his involvement with drafting its language. The governor in his second term asked the legislature to remove the $150,000 licensing fee saying it would exclude smaller DFS startups.

Of course, the governor has much more on his plate in the Empire State that takes precedence over DFS.

Last week the governor signed legislation to combat the state’s heroin epidemic. And now Cuomo is fending off potential allegations of executive corruption being made by US Attorney Preet Bharara.

The legislature isn’t expected to pressure Cuomo to call for the DFS bill unless he continues to allow it to linger through July and August ahead of the NFL season.

DFS Slow in Britain

States across America are scrambling to protect consumers playing the largely unregulated daily fantasy sports games. Across the pond where legalized sports betting runs rampant, the Brits are finding little excitement in the platforms.

The Associated Press reported this week that DraftKings is struggling to break into the market, as UK gamblers prefer more traditional sports betting lines than DFS. “They (DraftKings) have had virtually no traction whatsoever,” SuperLobby.com CEO David Copeland told the AP.

DraftKings disputes Copeland’s claims.

“We’re getting a very favorable response,” DraftKings London Chief International Officer Jeffrey Haas stated. “I can’t quantify that specifically.”

DraftKings’ goal for its first year in operation in Britain was 100,000 new sign-ups. Data is supplied to the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission but isn’t made public.

FanDuel is expected to launch in the UK ahead of the Premier League season in August.

Finding favor among locals is no easy task for DFS companies based in the USA. Dominated by Ladbrokes, Coral, and Paddy Power Betfair, the three power players have combined more than 4,000 betting shops throughout the UK.

Sports betting is a national pastime for millions of British citizens. Getting them to change their preferred wagering method likely comes at minimal odds.

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