ALBANY, N.Y. — Companies that run daily fantasy sports games contributed more than $3 million to New York state coffers last year, the first year after lawmakers approved new regulations for the popular online games.
While that’s a minuscule amount compared to the state’s overall $153 billion state budget, it’s a valuable contribution, especially when the state is facing a looming budget deficit of more than $4 billion.
“I expected a little bit more but $3 million is better than no million,” said Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, D-Westchester County, the chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Racing and Wagering.
Fifteen fantasy sports companies are now licensed to operate in the state under the 2016 law, which was passed in order to resolve questions about whether online daily fantasy sports amounted to illegal gambling in New York. The law also added consumer protections to ensure the companies don’t take advantage of game players.
The state’s Gaming Commission still hasn’t formally approved the new regulations, however. That’s causing some problems for operators, since the law prohibits them from expanding their business until the regulations are formally approved. FanDuel, for instance, wants to add fantasy golf and soccer, two games they already offer in other states but cannot operate now in New York, according to Ari Borod, the company’s vice president for legal and business affairs.
“Players ask ‘why can’t we play golf and soccer contests on FanDuel'” he said. “It’s been disappointing for our New York users to be blocked from participation.”
There’s no timeframe for the adoption of the new regulations by the Gaming Commission. A message left with the commission was not immediately returned Wednesday.