New Hampshire is the latest state to close in on legalizing and regulating daily fantasy sports, but the big news of the week in the DFS world was the ongoing saga of the proposed FanDuel and DraftKings merger, which is looking less and less likely by the day.
Not to be outdone, New Jersey will learn its short-term fate on Monday, when the US Supreme Court decides if it will hear its sports betting case.
DFS legislation update
New Hampshire’s House and Senate concurred on a DFS bill this week, sending it to the governor’s desk for a signature. If it becomes law, it would be the 13th state to take that step.
With a new bill, H 249, Delaware is a late addition to the list of states that have introduced DFS legislation.
Compared to bills in other states, Delaware’s bill provides a steep barrier for entry, with a $50,000 annual fee and a 15 percent tax on revenue. These numbers wouldn’t be onerous in larger states, but with Delaware’s population of under one million it would be near impossible for a company to operate profitably under the proposed tax and licensing fee.
The DFS bill tally
Throwing Delaware into the mix, the number of states that have introduced legislation seeking to legalize DFS in 2017 is now 25. And the number of states with active legislation stands at 18:
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
Legal Sports Report’s legislative tracker has up-to-the-minute updates on all DFS legislation.
Will the FanDuel-DraftKings merger be nixed?
Last week we learned the Federal Trade Commission was trying to block the proposed merger between FanDuel and DraftKings. This week more information is coming to light, including an operating loss of $500 million for DraftKings in 2016.
The new information, combined with public statements by the companies, has some people questioning if the two companies will try to fight for their right to party merge, or if they’ll simply accept the FTC’s decision.
Legal Sports Report did a good job of breaking down the reasons for and against the two companies fighting the FTC decision in this column.
Sports betting legalization update
On Monday, the Supreme Court will announce if it will grant New Jersey’s appeal of a lower court’s decision in its ongoing efforts to legalize sports betting.
As Dustin Gouker summarized on Legal Sports Report:
“New Jersey is arguing that it should be able to allow sports betting within its borders, something a federal law — PASPA — prohibits (at least according to court rulings so far.) The state is arguing that PASPA is unconstitutional and violates the Tenth Amendment (states’ rights). The plaintiffs — the NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL — have fought New Jersey in court to stop it from legalizing sports betting.”
The decision has already been made, as SCOTUS met on Thursday to consider a number of petitions that have reached the highest court in the land. But it won’t be until Monday that we learn which cases they will hear.
Needless to say, it’s an anxious time for sports betting proponents.
Sports betting legislation
There are nine states that have either taken up the fight to repeal PASPA, or are exploring legislation that would authorize sports betting if federal sports betting laws were to change:
- New Jersey
- New York
- South Carolina
- West Virginia