Online gaming giant, Amaya Inc. has taken the decision to restrict the availability of daily fantasy sports betting in the United States. The Canadian gaming company’s decision should not come as a surprise to gambling industry watchers since the daily fantasy sports business has been mired in a lot of controversies of late. As a matter of fact, there are a few regulatory concerns that have been raised recently and it is a wise move to wait until these issues have been addressed one way or the other.
Amaya’s daily fantasy sports product, StarsDraft will no longer be available in many states including Florida and Nevada, while plans to launch it in Michigan have now been shelved. It will, however, still operate in a few states where there are no legal grey areas concerning this particular business. Therefore, StarsDraft will be available in Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
One of the main triggers for this development was the decision of the Nevada Gaming Control Board to require daily fantasy sports operations to get gambling licences. Amaya has supported this decision and has said that the practical thing to do is hold back StarsDraft until more states provide clarity on the issue of daily fantasy sports. The company has every intention to stay on the right side of regulators because it intends to be in business for the long term.
Amaya Inc. had entered the highly lucrative daily fantasy sports betting business about a month previously when it acquired Victiv. The company was then relaunched as StarsDraft and it was quite successful in attracting new customers, thanks in part to the space Amaya already occupies in the gambling business. The company, which also owns PokerStars has assured its customers that this decision to restrict operations in the United States will not impact its finances negatively. As a matter of fact, players will be able to withdraw funds from their StarDrafts accounts without any restrictions as long as the terms and conditions are met.
As far as the biggest companies in the business, DraftKings and FanDuel, are concerned, there is no indication whether they intend to pursue a gaming license in the state of Nevada. Nevada’s decision has aroused interest among lawmakers in other states and many of them have indicated that they need to check whether daily fantasy sports comes under the purview of their criminal gambling laws. New Jersey has approved the application to start online gambling activities and this will definitely result in many other states following suit because there is a lot of tax revenue that can be generated this way.
Amaya’s decision to go slow until the daily fantasy sports betting market develops fully is an excellent decision because this industry is set to grow very rapidly in a couple of years. In fact, sports wagering is worth a massive $40 billion annually all over the world and it is expanding at a steady pace. Amaya can expect to net billions of extra dollars once this business gets under way as it inevitably will.