By Wayne Parry
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — As many as 11 states may adopt regulations permitting and regulating daily fantasy sports by the end of the year, according to an analyst who closely tracks the issue.
Six states have passed bills to regulate daily fantasy sports so far, and five more may do so soon, Chris Grove, of Narus Advisors, said last week.
He said Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi and Colorado have passed bills regulating the games. He listed New York, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and South Carolina as states that might also do so by the end of this year.
Grove’s comments came during a panel discussion at the East Coast Gaming Congress and iGaming Institute at Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center.
Daily fantasy sports allow people to deposit money into accounts, create fantasy rosters of sports teams by selecting real players and compete against other contestants based on the statistical performances of those players to win money. Proponents say it’s a game of skill, not chance, and shouldn’t be regulated the way casinos are. But many states consider them to be forms of gambling.
Thirty-five states have introduced legislation addressing daily fantasy sports, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“The race for daily fantasy sports to secure legal status in as much of the United States as possible to establish a sustainable business” is the industry’s overarching story, Grove said.
Adam Steinberg, senior vice president of Spectrum Gaming Capital, said 21 million people play either daily fantasy sports or daily and season-long fantasy sports.
Those players are an attractive demographic for casinos and racetracks, he said: 85 percent are under 55 years old, 66 percent are men, and half have household incomes exceeding $75,000 a year.
“They’re young, they’re intelligent, and they’re wealthy,” Steinberg said. “If you can get to know them, get their data and get them to spend money in your restaurants or poker rooms, that’s the way to monetize them, to get a larger share of their wallet.”
The conference panel also examined the prospects for sports betting across the country. New Jersey is trying to overturn a federal law limiting sports betting to four states that met a 1991 deadline to legalize it.
Nevada has allowed betting on sports for more than 60 years, and Delaware, Montana and Oregon have at times permitted more limited betting.
Rich Roberts, CEO of DraftDay Gaming Group, said the U.S. is the largest potential market for legal sports betting, followed by Great Britain. He and others said legalized sports betting would not replace or hurt daily fantasy sports, viewing the two as complementary pursuits.