In a major win for daily fantasy sports betting sites DraftKings and FanDuel, New York state lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill outlining how the daily fantasy sites would be regulated and taxed to operate legally.
The nascent industry is already a multibillion dollar one and has already been supported by the professional sports leagues in the US.
The legislation passed the NY Senate by a score of 45-17 Saturday morning.
The next step is for NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the motion into law.
"It's a good thing for New Yorkers because there are more than three and half million participants, most of them millennials," said State Assembly Gaming Committee Chairman J. Gary Pretlow, according to a report by Reuters.
DraftKings and FanDuel dominated the media cycle at the start of the 2015 American football season with an onslaught of in your face advertisements. The industry was then caught up in an insider trading scandal that rocked it to its core.
A total of seven US states have now passed fantasy sports bills this year: Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia. Idaho and Texas meanwhile remain vehemently opposed to fantasy betting in their states.
SBR reported last week that DraftKings and FanDuel and their potential merger might in the end help the argument for legal sports betting in the United States.
Many politicians in support of state-run sports betting and a repeal of federal legislation The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) have pointed out the large double standard with fantasy sports being welcomed by the sports leagues and now in several states while sports betting is still demonized. SBR interviewed NJ State Senator Raymond Lesniak who quipped that "it's a distinction without a difference,".
In the end, the more mainstream a clear act of betting on the performance of athletes becomes, the more likely it is that the pressure will be increased on lawmakers to clear a path for legal sports betting throughout the United States in the future.