Breaking News: Governor Cuomo has signed the bill legalizing fantasy sports in New York.
The nine month battle for fantasy sports to be made legal in the state of New York has come to an end. ESPN's Dave Purdum was first to report Governor Cuomo signing the legislation into law today.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is currently at the forefront of the New York daily fantasy sports scene, as he officially requested a copy of the bill passed by the New York legislature in June that would legalize DFS games in the state. He now has 10 days to veto or sign the bill.
While Cuomo hasn’t said anything publically regarding his intentions, most industry insiders believe he will sign the bill, which was written with his input taken into account.
The fact that Cuomo requested the bill Tuesday makes it more likely that it will pass given that the American football season is just around the corner. It isn’t out of the ordinary for the governor to wait until September or October to request bills from the legislature, so the timing of his request would appear to be a positive sign for daily fantasy players.
Cuomo and his staff are believed to have played a large part in the reduction of the cost of acquiring a license, instead making New York heavily dependent on the revenue the DFS companies would generate within the state.
The bill calls for a 15% tax on the gross revenue generated by the companies, as well as an additional tax of one-half percent, not to exceed $50,000 in lieu of a licensing fee. This fee structure will allow the smaller DFS sites an opportunity to compete in the lucrative New York market, as opposed to having to pay a one-time $500,000 licensing fee, as was the case in Senator John Bonacic’s original bill.
In the event that Cuomo signs the bill and daily fantasy sports becomes legal in the Big Apple, DFS companies will then need to be issued a permit from the state gaming commission. Companies that offered DFS games in the state prior to Nov. 15, 2015 will receive a temporary permit, whilst the company’s registration is considered. This will allow FanDuel and DraftKings to get right back into offering games.
Should Cuomo veto the bill, the legislature will have an opportunity to override the veto, but won’t adjourn again until September and it’s unlikely the vote will take place before the November elections. The bill passed the general assembly by a vote of 91 to 22 and made it through the senate by a count of 45-17, so the votes are currently there to override Cuomo if it comes down to that point.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the governor is reviewing the bill, but wouldn’t elaborate beyond that.
The DFS sites themselves are relatively quiet while awaiting the governor’s response, but did have plenty to say after the bill was passed earlier this summer.
“The bill represents a thoughtful legislative process, where bi-partisanship and willingness to compromise carried the day, and we are extremely hopeful Governor Cuomo will sign this bill,” Nigel Eccles, FanDuel CEO and co-founder said in a press release. “We decided long ago to build FanDuel in New York because it’s the sports capital of the world and a thriving home for tech startups – a natural fit for fantasy sports.”