The Battle for DFS Continues

Daily Fantasy Sports

The Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) was banned by Nevada towards the end of 2015 from providing DFS contests. The decision was based on the fact that the real money games are similar to online gambling; hence, required a permit to continue offering services in the Nevada state. This came amid US Fantasy Sports (USF), a startup company receiving authorization from GCG (Nevada Gaming Control Board) to provide DFS games earlier in this week. The company had applied to combine pari-mutuel betting with DFS games where an undisputed decision was reached in its favor. 

Behind the success of US Fantasy Sports is Vic Salerno, who is the sitting chairperson at William Hill US as well American Gaming Association Hall of Fame member. In 2015 December, UFS applied for the pari-mutuel licensing in order to begin its operations as stipulated by law. Currently, the company is awaiting approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission to receive the official license. 

Upon approval and acquisition of the license, Salerno plans to utilize software technology to provide DFS games. The software was created by Mike Knapp. With such rights, the company hopes to go live by before the commencement of the next NFL season scheduled for end of August. Additionally, it will offer several other games including baseball and football in the same design as that those in horse betting. The Board’s chairman, A.G Burnett, termed the decision by the USF as the turnkey solution needed to introduce DFS betting in the Nevada state. 

The company is planning to initiate its DFS operations to the initial seventy-nine casino members that constitute the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association; later, it can begin to launch linkages with different pari-mutuel operators in various states where the DFS sector is regulated or the regulation process is still underway. 

With over 40 years of experience in the sports gaming sector, Salerno’s pari-mutuel concept he has in mind is where his company USF can retain about 10% of the price pool and allow over 80 % of the company’s players to get back at least a specific amount of their cash. He noted that the USF concept was almost the exact opposite of the conventional DFS setup; hence, if their application to the Gaming Commission goes through, USF will go down in the books of history as the first US company to ever provide DFS betting through casinos in Nevada. 

Salerno has a strong belief that the entrance and participation of USF in the industry will appeal to gaming lovers with the hope that at least 50% of his client base will be new players. Likewise, pundits believe that the number could rise to over 80 %as millennials.

The sports betting industry in Nevada has continued to experience a steady growth over the past ten years. In 2006, the sports betting in the state stood at 2.6 billion dollars, and as of 2015, it had hit 4.2 billion dollars, up from three billion dollars in 2012. Pundits project that by the end of 2016, the sports betting industry would have rose to 5 billion dollars or more.

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