On Friday, New Jersey senators made a huge step forward the legalization of daily fantasy sports in the Garden State.
Daily fantasy sports is now only a step away from becoming a regulated industry in New Jersey, after 29-6 vote in favour of a bill that would provide the legal framework for legalization, regulation and taxation of this subset of fantasy sport games.
After the success in the state's Senate, the A-3532 bill is now awaiting the signature of the governor Chris Christie.
According to the bill, daily fantasy sports operators will be in obligation to pay an operations fee worth 10.5% of fantasy sports gross gaming revenue for each quarter, while the fee itself will be deposited in the state's general fund.
New Jersey's Office of Legislative Services estimates the state could grab up to $6.6 million on a yearly basis from the newly regulated market.
There is a number of conditions regarding the minimum legal age of 18 years for playing and participating in daily fantasy sports activities. The bill will also allow casino licensees and state-licensed racetracks to partner with daily fantasy sports operators.
There are a few interesting articles. For example, if a daily fantasy sports site is operated by a casino, all of the site's servers must be located in Atlantic City, and if a site is operated outside New Jersey, at least one of the site's servers must be located in The World's Famous Playground.
The bill prohibits the people who are currently on casinos' self-excluding lists from playing and participating in daily fantasy sports activities, and also bans operators from offering games based on high school sports.
Huge Step for New Jersey
A-3532 is the latest measure by New Jersey legislators to help the state's casino and horse racing industries. However, the bill signifies an important victory for the sector, since it defines fantasy sports as a game of skill rather than gambling. In turn, this means the companies offering fantasy sports will be regulated by the state's Division of Consumer Affairs and not by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, as it would be the case otherwise.
One of the Assemblymen who sponsored the bill, Vincent Mazzeo, said after the voting that it was high time for New Jersey to enter daily fantasy sports market, while he emphasized the fact new regulations would provide strong consumer protection.
After Governor Christie signs the bill, New Jersey will join the other 12 states that have already legalized daily fantasy sports: Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas and Illinois.