New Jersey might be the next US state with regulated daily fantasy sports industry. On Friday senators voted 29-6 in favor of a new bill, which would legalize, regulate and tax daily fantasy sports in the state if it passes. The only thing standing in the way is the signature of Republican Gov. Chris Christie, which is expected to be placed soon.
A-3532, as the bill is called, will require local operators to pay the state a fee amounting to 10.5 percent of fantasy sports gross revenue for each three months. This operations fee will go straight to the state’s general fund, and according to an estimation made by the Office of Legislature Services, New Jersey could gain up to $6.6 million per year in revenue from the fantasy sports market only.
According to the bill, there will be some changes in the way the industry is regulated. From now on all players must be at least 18 years old to participate in the fantasy sports. Of course, everyone younger than 18 is prohibited from playing fantasy sports activities in the state of New Jersey. The bill also allows casino licensees and licensed racetracks to collaborate with fantasy sports operators and offer activities of this kind.
There is one small detail, which states that all of the servers of a single fantasy sports site must be located in Atlantic City. In the case when a site is operated outside the state of New Jersey, there must be at least one server located in Atlantic City. Moreover, casinos’ self-exclusion lists apply for this field too and people on them will not be allowed to play. The bill was passed back in May by the state Assembly, sponsored by Assemblymen Vincent Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), Ralph Caputo (D-Essex), and John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester).
The lawmakers in New Jersey are giving their best to improve the current state of the casino and horse racing industries, which is not at its optimal state. They are looking for revenue sources which could possibly increase the budget rates and regulate the industry. This bill is only one of several measures and the vote to pass it came a couple of days after the US Supreme Court decided to hear the state’s challenge to a federal ban on sports betting.
Another big change for the sector is the fact that daily fantasy sports is now defined as a game of skills, instead of gambling, as it was till now and this results in new regulators. The industry will no longer be regulated by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, but instead, it will be overseen by the state Division of Consumer Affairs, an integral part of the Department of Law and Public Safety.