Daily fantasy sports is back—and legal—in New York.
On Monday, the New York State gaming Commission notified five of the biggest daily fantasy sports operators—DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo, Fantasy Draft and Draft—that they are allowed to resume operations in the state immediately.
The companies will operate under temporary permits, as the state regulator is still drafting regulations based on the bill that was signed into law earlier this month by New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The timing couldn’t have been better, what with the NFL season kicking off in a few weeks.
“While the commission continues work on formal regulations for these games, these temporary permits get companies up and running in New York State while assuring resident players that safeguards are in place,” Gaming Commission executive director Robert Williams said in a statement.
The daily fantasy sports industry exploded in popularity last year, but it also caught the eye of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who issued cease and desist orders against major operators like DraftKings and FanDuel.
A truce came in March, when the two DFS operators halted real-money daily fantasy play for New York residents in exchange for Schneiderman pausing on his criminal prosecution of the sites for violating the state’s gambling laws.
That also gave the industry time to convince the Legislature and Cuomo to make the games legal under the state law. Fast forward to August, when Cuomo finally signed the bill defining DFS as a game of skill.
Under the newly enacted law, operators must apply for licenses and pay 15% tax on revenue derived from New York players, as well as another 0.5% of revenue—but capped at $50,000—to cover licensing costs.
New York is now the eighth U.S. state—alongside Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, and Massachusetts—to pass DFS-friendly legislation since January. The state’s inclusion on the list is particularly gratifying to newly-rebranded FanDuel, whose corporate headquarters is located in New York City.