Daily Fantasy Sports Gets Tough Talk from Nevada Gaming Regulators
The Nevada Gaming Policy Commission came out this week for a public discussion on the fate of Silver State-facing daily fantasy sports sites and the tone of the discussion was not favorable for DFS operators, according to LegalSportsReport.com.
In short, Nevada regulators don’t seem to be buying into the argument made by DraftKings CEO Jason Robbins (who testified before the committee) that daily fantasy sports are not a form of gambling. Even worse, for Robbins anyways, was the fact that his testimony followed an absolutely blistering anti-DFS rant from William Hill US CEO Joe Asher.
Asher started his assault by steadfastly refusing to use the terms, “daily fantasy sports,” or, “DFS.” In his lexicon, the industry is, “daily fantasy sports betting,” or, “”DFSB.” His instance on using these terms speaks volumes about the DFS industry’s popularity with the mainstream gaming industry.
Asher went on to slam the DFS business for its refusal to admit that the services it offers are actually a form of gambling. He went on to say that calling DFS anything but gambling was, “absurd.”
When Asher was done savaging the DFS business, the Committee called DraftKings CEO Jason Robbins to the stand.
In a round of testimony that isn’t likely to help his industry, Robbins told the Committee that Nevada’s gaming regulations weren’t a good fit for daily fantasy sports operators. That, and not the whole is-it-gambling? question was what kept DraftKings from pursuing a Nevada gaming license.
Robbins went on to espouse the value of DraftKings fantasy drafts to the Nevada economy.
Also on the stand was FanDuel CEO, Nigel Eccles. Eccles clearly learned a thing or two from Robbins’ testimony and took a lighter tone with the Commission. Nonetheless, he made the same argument about why regulation isn’t a good fit for the daily fantasy sports business.
Whatever impression the DFS executives made on the Commission isn’t likely to be known for quite some time. The Committee’s next meeting isn’t until August and the Nevada Legislature won’t be considering new business until January of 2017.
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