Fantasy sports moved a step closer to being legal in New York on Saturday when lawmakers approved the daily and season-long games, clearing a path for FanDuel, DraftKings and others to offer them to millions of players in the state.
The multibillion-dollar industry, where players draft fantasy teams for sports including football, basketball and baseball, has drawn increased scrutiny since last year with the attorneys general of several U.S. states, including New York, Illinois and Nevada, questioning the legality of the games.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had held off litigation against what he claimed were illegal gambling operations and the fantasy companies had suspended their "games of skill" while the proposed legislation was in train.
New York's Senate passed the measure 45-17, sending the legislation that regulates and taxes the operators of fantasy sports games to Governor Andrew Cuomo. It is unclear if he will sign the legislation that was passed by the Assembly on Friday.
Daily fantasy sports, a turbocharged version of the season-long game where players draft teams in live games played in just one evening or over a weekend, has boomed over the past decade.
State Assembly Gaming Committee Chairman J. Gary Pretlow predicted Cuomo will endorse the bill, partly because many young New York voters play the fantasy games and because it would generate tax revenues.