Daily fantasy sports (DFS) provider USFantasy is bringing its new form of fantasy football wagering in Pennsylvania amid on-going legislative debates on regulations for DFS sports betting.
Trib Live reported USFanstasy launched its pari-mutuel style fantasy football product in Pennsylvania, just three months after it successfully got the nod of the Nevada Gaming Control Board to operate the fantasy sport in the state.
Unlike the usual DFS, USFantasy’s product is based on pari-mutuel betting – the pool style of wagering for horse and dog races – that is tied to NFL.
Republican Rep. George Dunbar, R-Penn Township, said they will be monitoring how things go for the DFS operator. Should it become successful, Dunbar said that the pari-mutuel fantasy football could be on the table later this year.
USFantasy Sports officials reportedly met with Dunbar to pitch their platform and explain how it could work in Pennsylvania.
“I’d be curious to see how it rolls out in Nevada. It’s like daily fantasy sports on steroids,” Dunbar, who serves on the House Gaming Oversight Committee, said, according to the news report. “If the casinos want something like this, I am not opposed at all to it.”
USFantasy Sports, for its part, was taken by surprise that they will be the first operator to dish out the idea to Pennsylvania. They expressed confident it would draw action from bettors.
Bob Kocienski, Chief Executive Officer of USFantasy Sports, was recently quoted to have said: ““All the ingredients are there for this to be a smashing success, no doubt. Just think of it as a horse race, but we’re switching out the horses with professional athletes.”
Rep. Dunbar had been pushing for DFS regulations in Pennsylvania since last year, tying the industry to the state’s 12 casinos. While the bill to regulate DFS in the state has yet to be approved, the legislation did not include the novel pari-mutuel model.
“Throwing that on the dog pile we are considering now would just confuse matters,” Dunbar said.
According to the lawmaker, he will be meeting with House Gaming Oversight Committee chair Rep. John Payne to discuss the inclusion of USFantasy Sports’ betting model and how it might work in Pennsylvania.
The marriage of DFS and casinos will be thorny issue in Pennsylvania since not all casinos can accept pari-mutuel wager, such as the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh or Lady Luck Casino at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Fayette County.
“That could certainly be an issue,” Dunbar said. “What benefits one may hurt another. That is a consideration.”