Wednesday brought a bit of good news for New Yorkers eager to participate in daily fantasy websites like DraftKings and FanDuel. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that legalizes competitions on such sites, classifying them as "games of skill," not chance.
"Daily fantasy sports have proven to be popular in New York, but until now have operated with no supervision and no protections for players," Cuomo said in a statement. "This legislation strikes the right balance that allows this activity to continue with oversight from state regulators, new consumer protections and more funding for education."
The new law requires that going forward, these sites provide parental blocks for minors and alerts when users are going up against experienced, frequent winners. That last clause was a response to a New York Times report from October which showed employees at these sites had a distinct advantage when participating in contests on other sites.
That prompted more calls for the world of daily fantasy sites to be regulated. On March 21 of this year, DraftKings and FanDuel agreed to a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The companies shut down operations in New York immediately in exchange for gambling charges being dropped, and bet on the fact new legislation would eventually help them. They won.
DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish told Golf Digest in August 2015 that "nothing's growing faster than golf" on his site, thanks in large part to the successful "Millionaire Maker" that was started for the 2014 Masters. That contest with a $20 entry fee gets hundreds of thousands of entries and has a first-place prize of $1 million.
Under the new law, an estimated $4 million in tax revenue per year will go to New York state educational initiatives.