Amaya Gaming Hits Brakes on Daily Fantasy Sports Expansion
The company originally announced that it was merely moving out of the Nevada market, which is not requiring that DFS operators be licensed. They quickly added Florida to that list after the state launched a grand jury investigation into DFS.
Then, on Monday, Amaya pulled StarDraft from every US market except New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland and Kansas. A company official said those states were kept because they offered a favorable regulatory climate.
Amaya, which purchased the beleaguered PokerStars brand for $4.9 billion, is one company that is especially cautious when it comes to tangling with gaming regulators. They just spent millions of dollars securing a New Jersey online gaming license, and re-entry into the US market, and they’re not likely to rock the boat.
In a statement to Bloomberg News, a company spokesperson was very supportive of Nevada’s move to license DFS operators and of DFS regulation as a whole saying:
As a proponent of state regulation of daily fantasy sports, we respect the decision of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and no longer allow Nevada consumers to play for real money on StarsDraft. We are an advocate for strict state regulation of DFS and the recent activities at some companies underscore the need for state regulation.
While Amaya Gaming’s stance on DFS regulation may be noble, it’s not particularly risky. Fan Duel and DraftKings currently control more than 90% of the DFS market and most DFS players are probably not even aware of StarDraft’s existence anyways.
Regardless, Amaya has the right idea here. After all, staying on the right side state gaming commissions is always a good idea for any igaming operator.