Proposed bill concerning daily fantasy sports draws criticism

By Patrick Walker

Published 08/23 2016 09:12PM

Updated 08/23 2016 09:12PM

Daily fantasy sports companies such as Draft Kings and Fan Duel took a shaky step forward Tuesday by trying to become legal in the state without obtaining a gaming license.
However, regulators are skeptical about the companies trying to create their own category in state law, so it's drawing criticism.

Industry leaders Draft Kings and Fan Duel are proposing a bill that would create a special classification separating fantasy sports from other types of gaming.

If daily fantasy sports companies get their way, a new bill could allow them to operate in Nevada without having a gaming license.

The companies have proposed similar bills across the United States, but Governor Brian Sandoval says a blanket bill doesn't work in Nevada.

"There are other states that have adopted and legalized daily fantasy sports, but none of them are within the confines of what we typically do in the state of Nevada," Gov.  Sandoval said.

The Gaming Policy Board chaired by Sandoval peppered an attorney representing Fan Duel and Draft Kings with what the governor called a "light" proposal.

Under the bill, the state would get up to $10,000 a year in licensing fees from each applicant.  Gaming control board Chairman Tony Alamo questioned whether or not the state would even make enough money to cover regulating the companies.

"Is it good for the industry? Does it increase revenue streams? Does it increase jobs?  I'm beginning to feel that the answer is no," said Dr. Tony Alamo, chairman of Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The bill would also allow 18 year olds to participate in daily fantasy sports, which is something members of the gaming policy committee took issue with.  All other forms of gaming require participants to be at least 21 years old.

MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren says he believes fantasy sites should operate by essentially the same rules as everybody else.

"You guys have a lot of work to do, but I for one have a very, very open mind, I'm not intimidated as a bricks-and-mortar operator," Murren said.

The committee will decide whether or not to recommend the legislation later this year.

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