New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (finally) signs daily fantasy sports legislation

new-york-governor-daily-fantasy-sportsNew York‘s daily fantasy sports players will be able to indulge their favorite pastime on a legal basis from now on.

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (pictured) finally got around to signing the DFS bill the state legislature approved in mid-June. The news is music to the ears of DFS operators, who had feared starting a new NFL season locked out of one of their largest markets.

The bill defines DFS as a game of skill, although the New York Gaming Commission has been granted oversight over DFS activity. Operators must apply for licenses and pay 15% tax on revenue derived from New York players, the proceeds of which will go toward education funding. Operators must pay a further 0.5% of revenue (but capped at $50k) to cover licensing costs.

DFS operators that were active in New York prior to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s cease & desist order last November can immediately apply for temporary permits to ensure no delay in restoring services to New York customers.

Major DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel halted real-money DFS play for New York residents in March in exchange for Schneiderman pressing ‘pause’ on his criminal prosecution of the sites for violating the state’s gambling laws.

On Wednesday, Schneiderman’s office issued a statement saying he would ‘enforce and defend the new law” but reiterated his pledge to pursue claims of false advertising and consumer fraud against DraftKings and FanDuel for their “past misconduct.”

New York marks the eighth US state to pass DFS-friendly legislation since January, joining Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia and Massachusetts (although Massachusetts’ bill is still awaiting its governor’s signature). New York’s inclusion on this list is particularly gratifying to FanDuel, whose corporate headquarters is in New York City.