New Jersey officially becomes the 16th state to legalise DFS

By Manuel Marti
Governor Chris Christie has signed this week the Fantasy Sports Bill, making New Jersey the 16th state to legalise paid-entry fantasy sports. Last July, the Senate had approved S-1982/A-3532 legislation but it was not until last Thursday when the law was formally signed.

However, the law will not change the current DFS scene in the state. Operators such as Draftkings or FanDuel are already fully active under assurances from the Division of Gaming Enforcement. From now on, operators seeking a licence must apply through the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs.

New Jersey follows the framework that has been set up by the states that have legalised fantasy sports in the last two years. It declares paid-entry fantasy sport a game of skill, and players must be over 18. It is handled it by the Division of Consumer Affairs and subsequently it institutes a number of protection like responsible gaming protocols.

Similarly to the 15 other states where DFS has been officially regulated, operators will pay 10.5% tax on revenue derived from New Jersey DFS players and the state believes it could reap an annual $6.6m in revenue from the activity.

Nevertheless, it follows a previous set-up, the amendment allows fantasy sports based on college games, unlike most of the already-regulated states.

Marc La Vorgna, a spokesperson for both DraftKings and FanDuel, said: “Today Governor Christie signed into law a bill establishing a comprehensive, lasting regulatory framework for fantasy sports in New Jersey. By taking this action, New Jersey is now the sixteenth state to enact a law protecting fantasy sports fans and guaranteeing their right to play the games they love, while establishing rules to protect consumers as the industry grows and ensure the continued integrity of fantasy sports contests.

“The law establishes multiple layers of oversight, placing New Jersey at the forefront of consumer protection nationally, and creating a new source of tax revenue with major potential for growth in the state. On behalf of nearly 1.5 million fantasy sports fans in New Jersey, we want to thank Governor Christie and the legislature – especially Senators Sarlo, Stack and Sweeney and Assemblymen Caputo, Mazzeo, Burzichelli and Brown – for coming together on this bipartisan legislation.”

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