Nevada Gaming Board Gives Go-Ahead For DFS Betting License
In a first, gaming regulators in Nevada have given an initial approval for a proposal that will result in daily fantasy sports being offered in casinos in a manner comparable to the existing pari-mutuel wagering system.
Vic Salerno, a pioneer in race and sports booking had applied for a license to provide a pari-mutuel sports system operated off-track via his company US Fantasy late last year.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board voted unanimously this week to recommend the proposal for a license from the Nevada Gaming Commission. If the company wins the approval from the Commission, it would be the first company to offer fantasy sports in Nevada casinos.
Salerno has said that if the proposal goes according to schedule, patrons in Nevada casinos will be able to bet on sports games such as baseball and football by August 2016. The format would be similar to what is being used for horse racing and Salerno expects the new format to find favor with the younger generation of players who seem to have lost interest in traditional casino games.
Sports-betting has been steadily growing in popularity in the state. In 2006 the sports betting industry in Nevada generated $2.4 billion and slowly climbed to $3 billion in 2012. Since then the industry has grown in leaps and bounds and reached $4.2 billion in 2015. Experts predict the sports betting industry to cross $5 billion before the end of 2016.
According to Salerno, almost 50 percent of players on the sports betting platform would be new to the game. Gaming analysts believe this number could be a lot higher and touch even 80 percent. Board Chairman A.G. Burnett said that the proposal would be turnkey solution for offering fantasy sports betting in Nevada. Although highly popular in Nevada, daily fantasy sports have been mired in controversy. In October last year, the Nevada gaming authorities decided that the fantasy sports was similar to gambling and asked the DFS companies to apply for a gambling license to continue their operations. All DFS sites were forced to withdraw their cash game offerings from Nevada.
State regulators have however been keen to explore ways to legally introduce DFS in the state. At a recent meeting of the Nevada Governor’s Gaming Policy Committee, members and market participants widely debated on the issue of introducing legal DFS. Salerno is well-known in the industry for being the man to have first introduced kiosks for sports-betting as well as the state’s first mobile betting app. If things go as per plan, he will also hold the title of being the first man to introduce legalized DFS games in Nevada.
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