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Andrew Cuomo signs DFS bill into New York law

Democratic National Convention: Day Four

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 28: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) gestures to the crowd as he arrives on stage to deliver remarks on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the number of votes needed to secure the party’s nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

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The daily fantasy industry, under siege for most of the last year, finally has a major victory. New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that legalizes DFS in that state.

In 2015, the Empire State quickly became the primary battleground regarding the question of whether the games constitute illegal gambling. Permitted by the same 2006 federal law that wiped out Internet gambling, the legality of daily fantasy sports has been relegated to the various states.

“Daily fantasy sports have proven to be popular in New York, but until now have operated with no supervision and no protections for players,” Cuomo said in a release, via “This legislation strikes the right balance that allows this activity to continue with oversight from state regulators, new consumer protections, and more funding for education.”

Previously, the leading DFS companies (FanDuel and DraftKings) identified a small handful of states in which DFS would not be allowed. After the 2015 football season began (and possibly fueled by an advertising blitz that frustrated many and that put the industry in the crosshairs), several states began to take a hard look at whether daily fantasy should be regulated or eliminated.

Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see whether companies like FanDuel and DraftKings once again attempt to occupy a high profile, or whether they’ll take a more measured and muted approach. The DFS debate will continue in plenty of other states, but the green light in New York could give the industry the spark it needs to establish firmer footing elsewhere.