New Jersey is now the 16th state to formally approve DFS gaming.
States in the US are steadily opening up to more gaming options, including daily fantasy sports. The United States has come a long way since late 2015 when state after state began to set DFS contests as an illegal activity. This week saw the state of New Jersey become the 16th to formally approve daily fantasy sports betting in the nation.
Yesterday, Governor Chris Christie gave his approval and signed the daily fantasy sports legislation, a measure that had been sitting on his desk for quite some time. S-1982/A-3532 was approved by the state Senate in early July and Christie had yet to sign the measure into law. The signing of the legislation comes at a time when the National Football League’s new season will be underway but it will be another 90 days before the law goes into effect.
While the measure is officially now a law, daily fantasy sports operators remained in New Jersey all this time. FanDuel and DraftKings were assured by the Division of Gaming Enforcement that it was okay to continue offering their services in the state based on existing state laws. However, now with new regulations in place, operators of DFS gaming will have to apply for a permit to offer services. Such permits can be obtained via the Division of Consumer Affairs and any fees for permits have yet to be announced.
With the new law, operators of daily fantasy sports contests have to pay taxes on the gross gaming revenues earned. This will be the first time such taxes have been paid by operators. Revenue from New Jersey activity will be set at 10.5% tax rate and according to figures from the state, as much as $6.6 million could be earned based on participate estimates for DFS.
Operators can partner with casinos in Atlantic City as well as racetracks in the state in order to offer services. Back in July, it was announced that the Resorts Casino Hotel would be partnering with SportAD. This is a new FastPick fantasy product and Resorts wanted to be ready for operations once the bill became law.
Also included in the bill were clauses pertaining to consumer protection. Most states require DFS operators to set an age limit of 18 years of age or older as well as have separate financial accounts for player funs and operational funds. How New Jersey differs is that the state did not exclude college sports from the list of sports that operators can offer contests on. Most states do not include college or high school. NJ did elect to avoid high school contests.
Senator Jim Whelan of New Jersey played a big part in the state approving daily fantasy sports. He helped to create the original legislation for DFS back in 2015. However, the Senator was unable to see the bill become law as he passed away earlier in the week due to a heart attack. While discussing the comeback of Atlantic City, Governor Chris Christie gave Whelan much-needed credit, stating that the comeback is due in no small part to the efforts and passion of the senator.
So now the United States have 16 individual states that officially welcomed DFS gaming. We shall watch and see over the coming months which states join the fray and offer daily fantasy sports contests to provide additional revenue sources. It will be interesting to see if New Jersey can see a solid return from DFS. It would not be surprising to see the activity bring in big bucks as residents of the state enjoy gambling, especially options available online.