- Interactive Fantasy Sports
- Temporary Permits
- Tax and Revenue
- Required Protections
- Advertising and Other Restrictions
Interactive Fantasy Sports
Interactive Fantasy Sports are games of skill in which contestants assemble a roster of athletes in a given sport and use the actual aggregated performance statistics of those athletes to determine the contest’s winner. Contestants pay fees to enter the contest and, if successful in performing against their opponents, win prizes.
On August 3, 2016, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a measure legalizing the operation of Interactive Fantasy Sports (a popular form of which is called Daily Fantasy Sports) in New York State.
The law establishes a regulatory framework for the New York State Gaming Commission’s oversight of Interactive Fantasy Sports and implements important consumer protections and safeguards for both players and operators against fraud and abuse. This includes everything ranging from offering introductory procedures to new players and identifying highly experienced players to prohibiting the participation of minors and protecting players' funds upon deposit. See the law here.
Interactive Fantasy Sports Operators seeking to operate in New York State:
Interactive Fantasy Sports Operators seeking to operate in New York State MUST BE REGISTERED WITH THE NEW YORK STATE GAMING COMMISSION.
Any entity operating in New York State before November 10, 2015 may resume operation in the state upon issuance of a TEMPORARY PERMIT from the Commission. The Commission must approve this temporary permit application before any operator may begin/resume operations in NYS.
Download the Interactive Fantasy Sports Contest Application for Temporary Permit and follow all directions carefully.
The full application for operation of Interactive Fantasy Sports will be available in the near future in conjunction with the promulgation of the Commission’s regulations in regard to the games.
Interactive Fantasy Sports Operators - Temporary Permits:
The following entities have applied for and received temporary permits to operate interactive fantasy sports contests in New York State:
Interactive Fantasy Sports Operators - Tax and Revenue:
Registered Operators must pay a tax equivalent to 15 percent of their interactive fantasy sports gross revenue generated within the state. In addition, registered Operators shall pay a tax equal to ½ of 1 percent, but not to exceed $50,000 annually. All taxes collected from Operators, as well as interest and penalties (as applicable) imposed by the Commission, will be deposited, on a monthly basis, directly in the New York Lottery fund for the sole purpose of providing aid to education to New York’s public schools.
Interactive Fantasy Sports Operators – Required Protections for Players:
In order to operate in New York State, Interactive Fantasy Sports Operators must implement the following measures:
The Operator must limit each authorized player to one active and continuously used account. Prohibited players must be prevented from maintaining accounts or participating in contests.
The Operator must prohibit minors from participating in any contest, including:
- If an Operator becomes or is made aware that a minor has participated in a contest, the operator must – within 2 business days – refund any deposit received from the minor, whether or not the minor has engaged in or attempted to engage in a contest; provided, however, that any refund may be offset by any prizes already awarded.
- Each Operator must publish and facilitate parental control procedures to allow parents or guardians to exclude minors from access to any contest or platform. Such procedures shall include a toll-free number to call for help in establishing such parental controls.
- Each Operator must take appropriate steps to confirm that an individual opening an account is not a minor.
When referencing the chances or likelihood of winning in advertisements or upon contest entry, the Operator must make clear and conspicuous accurate statements in regard to the chances of winning and the number of winners.
The Operator must enable authorized players to exclude themselves from contests and take reasonable steps to prevent such players from entering future contests.
The Operator must permit any authorized player to permanently close an account registered to such player, on any and all platforms supported by the Operator at any time and for any reason.
The Operator must offer prominently displayed introductory procedures for authorized players on the main page of the Operator’s platform explaining the contest play and how to identify a highly experienced player.
The Operator must identify all highly experienced players in a contest by a symbol attached to such players’ usernames, or by other easily visible means, on all platforms supported by the Operator.
The Operator must disclose the number of entries a single authorized player may submit to each contest and disclose the maximum number of total entries allowed for each contest
The Operator must implement measures to protect the privacy and online security of authorized players and their accounts
The Operator must offer all authorized players access to his/her account history and account details.
The Operator must ensure authorized players’ funds are protected upon deposit and segregated from the operating funds of the Operator, and otherwise protected from corporate insolvency, financial risk or criminal or civil actions against such operator or registrant.
The Operator must prominently list on each website information concerning assistance for compulsive play in New York State, including a toll-free number directing callers to reputable resources containing further information, which must be free of charge (e.g., the OASAS HOPE line – 1-877-8-HOPENY)
The Operator must ensure the value of any prizes and awards offered to authorized players shall be established and made known to such players in advance of the contest, and such value shall not be determined by the number of authorized players or the amount of any entry fees paid by such players.
The Operator must ensure all winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the authorized players and that outcomes are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals in sports events.
The Operator must ensure no winning outcome shall be based on the score, point spread, or performance of a single sports team, or any combination of such teams.
The Operator must ensure no winning outcome shall be based solely on any single performance of an individual athlete in a single sport or athletic event.
The Operator must ensure no game or contest shall be based on a prohibited sports event.
Each Operator must restrict the number of entries submitted by a single authorized player for any contest to 150 entries per player per contest, or by a maximum of three percent of the total number of entries by all players for any contest, whichever is less, or as determined by the Commission. Operators must take reasonable steps to prevent authorized players from submitting more than the allowable number of entries per contest. The Commission will create rules and regulations to further effectuate this section to ensure that the number of entries submitted by a single authorized player for any contest will lead to a fair and equitable distribution of number of entries.
The Operator must not directly or indirectly operate, promote or advertise any platform or contest to persons located in New York State unless registered.
Unless otherwise approved by the Commission, Operators must not directly or indirectly promote or advertise any online fantasy or simulation sports games or contests with an entry fee during the conduct of any online fantasy or simulation sports games or contests without an entry fee. This will not apply to any Operator that prohibits prohibited players from participating in online fantasy or simulation sports games or contests without an entry fee.
The Operator must not offer any contest based on any prohibited sports event.
The Operator must not permit any minor or prohibited participant to enter any contest.
The Operator must develop and prominently display procedures on the main page of the platform for the filing of a complaint by the authorized player against the Operator. An initial response must be given by the Operator to the player filing the complaint within 48 hours. A complete response must be given by the Operator to the player filing the complaint within 10 business days. An authorized player may also file a complaint alleging a violation of the law with the Commission.
The Operator must maintain records of all accounts belonging to authorized players and retain such records for five years from the date the account was created.
Interactive Fantasy Sports Operators: Advertising and Other Restrictions:
The Operator’s advertisements for contests and prizes must not target prohibited participants, minors or self-excluded persons. Advertisements must include fair and accurate information about average winnings. This includes, at a minimum:
- Median and net winnings of all authorized players participating in contests offered by the Operator; and
- Percentage of winnings awarded by the Operator to highly experienced players participating in contests offered by the Operator within the preceding calendar year.
Operators are prohibited from using third-party scripts or scripting programs for any contest and must ensure that measures are in place to deter, detect and prevent cheating, including collusion and the use of cheating devices. This includes software programs that submit entry fees or adjust the athletes selected by an authorized player.