Monday, October 19, 2015

DFS Now Listed as DTD

It was only three months ago that we learned Amaya Gaming had acquired the small but established fantasy sports site Victiv, which they then rebranded as StarsDraft.

StarsDraft quickly showed up in the PokerStars client, and we U.S. players were able to play on the site right away. I’ll admit I got a kick out of seeing that, reminding me faintly of how things used to be some four-and-a-half years ago.

I never deposited any money on StarsDraft, only playing a few freerolls and one of the free “Bankroll Builders” games they offered. (Indeed, I’ve never deposited on any DFS sites, having only played with money won in freerolls on a few of them.)

All of which is to say, if being able to play something for real money on PokerStars (even if I weren’t doing so) represented a dim echo of my experience playing on the site before, receiving the news of suddenly not being able to do so (again) wasn’t similar at all.

Amaya sent out a presser today saying they were choosing to limit their DFS games to just four U.S. states for now -- New Jersey, Massachusetts, Kansas, and Maryland -- meaning my state (NC) is now on the no-play list.

Those four states are ones described in the release as having “favorable existing daily fantasy sports guidance.” In other words, they’ve either passed legislation or otherwise made explicit that legally speaking things are relatively hunky dory for DFS within their borders.

Last week we were hearing about Florida becoming an uninviting place for DFS sites, then late Thursday the Nevada Gaming Commission made its announcement declaring DFS to be gambling and thus subject to licensure, a move which likewise drove the sites out. This amid reports of legislators’ calls for inquiries, the FBI taking an interest, and other clamoring about the sites’ business models and legal status.

While federal regulation may well come for DFS (and possibly sooner than later), it could go the other way. The whole thing feels at present like a player listed as “DTD” (day-to-day) -- i.e., making him a less-than-recommended play.

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