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Games firms likely to face controls

States plan regulation as FanDuel awaits its fate

Nigel Eccles at Dynamic EarthSeveral US states are working on ways to regulate and even raise revenue from fantasy sports sites in the wake of a recent ban on their operations.

FanDuel and DraftKings are awaiting a verdict on their appeal against bans ordering them to shut down operations in New York. They have also been banned in Nevada as local officials grow concerned that their games are illegal gambling and not ‘games of skill’ which is allowed.

A number of states are now working on legislation that allow them to be licensed. Pennsylvania and California are leading the initiative, with Colorado, Delaware, Georgia and Illinois, also said to be looking at similar moves.

FanDuel, based in Edinburgh and New York, and is big rival DraftKings filed opposition to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s “cease and desist” order on daily fantasy games issued last month.

The daily sports sites involve a player picking a fantasy team of athletes from real sports teams. They score points if their selected athletes perform well. Players can win hundreds of thousands of dollars every day.

Regulation has the support of the companies. FanDuel chief executive Nigel Eccles (pictured) has called for “strong, common sense, enforceable consumer protection requirements”, to include age requirements, protection of personal information, individual player accounts and third-party audits.

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