Daily fantasy sports (DFS) may soon be working its way back into the state of Nevada. On Monday, a committee will convene to discuss the topic and hear testimony from industry leaders, including the heads of DraftKings and FanDuel.
In October 2015, after years of unregulated legitimacy, Nevada declared DFS betting to be form of gambling. Therefore, operators would not be permitted to accept players from the state unless they first obtained a license from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Since the NGCB has no rules or regulations set forth to govern daily fantasy sports, DFS sites were ordered to immediately cease acceptance of local players.
On Friday, Governor Brian Sandoval ordered his Gaming Policy Committee to schedule a hearing to discuss DFS. That hearing – entitled ‘Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports in Nevada’ – has been set for Monday, March 7.
Who Will Be There?
The 12-member committee, which includes Gov. Sandoval himself, will host presentations on the current status and future of DFS betting from Jason Robins (CEO, DraftKings), Nigel Eccles (CEO, FanDuel) and Joe Asher, Esq. (CEO, William Hill).
Several experts in gaming research will also provide commentary, including Geoff Freeman (CEO, American Gaming Association), Dr. David Schwartz (Director, Center for Gaming Research) and Chris Grove (Senior Partner, Narus Advisors; Consultant, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming), just to name a few.
Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, Dr. Tony Alamo, and Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, A. G. Burnett, will deliver speeches as well.
You can view the Full Agenda here.
What the Hearing Means for DFS in Nevada
Being the state’s first hearing on daily fantasy sports betting, we can expect this to be an educational forum more than anything else. Nevada officials will learn the evolution of DFS, current technologies and what direction the industry is headed.
The discussions likely to have the most impact on the future of DFS in Nevada will be those from the CEO’s of DraftKings and FanDuel. If their presentations can convince the committee that DFS is a valuable asset to the state, and that it can be regulated in the same manner as Nevada’s existing online poker market, providing strong securities and consumer protections, approbation of regulatory framework will be the most likely outcome—eventually.
This hearing is only the first step in the long and winding stairway that could bring DFS back to Nevada.
Common-Sense Regulation or Full Licensure?
Assuming Nevada does acquiesce to daily fantasy sports, there are two routes they could take.
A ‘common-sense’ regulation approach, which is preferred by major DFS operators, wouldn’t require them to obtain a license. They would simply have to use ‘common-sense’ in abiding by all state laws regarding gaming, as they’ve already done for the last several years.
Or, the state could require DFS betting sites to go through the rigorous licensing process. While DraftKings and FanDuel would surely make the grade, it could spell disaster for their legitimacy in other US states.
DFS has been put under the microscope in several states, including Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and Texas. To apply for a “gambling” license in Nevada might be considered an admission that daily fantasy sports is, in fact, gambling, giving state and federal governments more fuel to declare the DFS betting a form of gambling, not a game of skill.