Nevada Gaming Control Board Gives Initial Approval To Fantasy Betting

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 5:00 PM GMT

The Nevada Gaming Control Board unanimously approved the license application from US Fantasy, a startup company hoping to introduce a new unique blend of Daily Fantasy Sports.

Last week, the Nevada Gaming Control Board unanimously approved the license application from US Fantasy, a startup company hoping to introduce a new unique blend of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and the off-track, Pari-Mutuel format used in Horse Racing. Created by gaming pioneer Vic Salerno, USF is hoping to have its product in Silver State sportsbooks by August and now has the the approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission Board as its only remaining future regulatory obstacle.

NGCB Unanimously Gives Vic Salerno DFS Company US Fantasy Initial Approval in Nevada Sportsbooks
On June 8, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) unanimously approved the application for an operator's license for US Fantasy—a startup company from Vic Salerno, who once operated Leroy's Sports & Horse Place in downtown Las Vegas and who is now the Chairman of William Hill US—making it possible for US Fantasy to become the first licensed Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) product to be available for betting in the Silver State's casinos. (Nevada is still the only state in the US with full-on legalized Sports Betting.) US Fantasy (USF) still needs to get final regulatory approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission's Board who are now the only thing between USF getting a license and a newfangled form of Daily Fantasy Sports suddenly being a bettable option in some Nevada sportsbooks.

Salerno—a pioneer in helping to improve sports betting in Nevada through his introduction of Sports Betting Kiosks and the state's first Mobile Betting App and who was inducted into the American Gaming Association's Hall of Fame last September—has reportedly developed a new type of DFS betting product which incorporates an off-track, pari-mutuel-type wagering platform like the one currently used in Horse Racing in a system created by former Del Mar consultant Mike Knapp. This new system will rank individual Sports' athletes in specific game categories and then allow bettors to make wagers on whether they think players will Win, Place or Show in those specific categories (like in Football, weekly NFL Passing Leader, Rushing Leader, Receiving Leader) with the actual betting odds of the players changing with the various amounts of money bet on them, just like in Horse Racing.

US Fantasy (Sanderina II, LLC) is also planning on having Exactas, Trifectas, Pick 6's and Daily Doubles as well as a Super Seven Progressive jackpot which will let bettors try to pick the top 7 performers at 7 different NFL positions. (Athletes will be capped at 20 per grouping-contest.) Like Horse Racing, USF will be taking a share out of the Prize Pool, suggested in reports to be around 10% by Salerno. If the Board does grant approval—NGCB Chairman A.G. Burnett deemed USF's proposal as a “turnkey solution” to providing DFS betting in the state of Nevada—Salerno is hoping to have the new product in some sportsbooks by August. If it happens, USF would be the first company in Nevada to be able to legally provide DFS, with Salerno planning on offering its services through the 79 casino members of the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association, with hopes of ultimately teaming up with other pari-mutuel operators in other US states where DFS is either currently legal or en route to someday hopefully being so.

And having the endorsement of NGC Chairman Burnett—who first questioned the legality of DFS companies like FanDuel and DraftKings—is a big thing for USF and Salerno who could be the first in the Nevada marketplace with a unique system that many both young and old may like and who could be creating big in-roads in other states where his Nevada-based operation could theoretically then be able to accept bets from. Salerno suggested USF could be offered both in casinos as well as on mobile devices and online.

Daily Fantasy Sports as legal in the state of Nevada up until last October when the NGC came to the conclusion that the extremely popular endeavor actually constituted sports wagering, and armed with that logic, state Attorney General Adam Laxalt outlawed it under Nevada state law and popular companies like FanDuel and DraftKings had to stop accepting “wagers,” with Nevada now saying companies doing what they were doing would now need a license from the state which knows a little something about Sports Gambling. With FanDuel and DraftKings now having to be classified as sportsbook operators and to a land-based operation in Nevada requiring a license, the two most famous companies in the DFS marketplace have seemingly opted to not get involved in the Silver State's gaming industry.

The Nevada Gaming Commission's next regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 23 in Las Vegas while the Nevada Gaming Control Board's next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13, also in Las Vegas.