Amaya will limit its newly launched daily fantasy sports (DFS) offering StarsDraft from operating real-money games and tournaments in most US states, although it will continue to operate in states with favourable existing DFS guidance such as New Jersey.
The company had entered the growing DFS market with the launch of StarsDraft.com in September, just prior to the start of the new NFL season, following the acquisition of Austin-based operator Victiv in August.
Integrated on the PokerStars platform, Amaya said at the time that it would use the new offering as a player acquisition tool by re-engaging with PokerStars’ customer database in the US.
Following allegations of insider betting by a DraftKings employee, who has been subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing, Amaya had called for state regulation and licensing of DFS to ensure consumer protection and strict government oversight of operators.
“Prior to the launch of StarsDraft and based on a thorough review of the regulatory environment at the time, Amaya decided not to launch StarsDraft in jurisdictions where many of our competitors continue to operate today, including Michigan,” said Amaya.
Following a review of recent developments in a number of jurisdictions, the company confirmed that it has withdrawn the StarsDraft brand from Florida and Nevada, where last week the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) determined that DFS operators in the state were required to obtain a gaming license from the NGCB.
“Amaya supports the decision by the NGCB, and believes that it is prudent to limit the StarsDraft offering until such time as more states adopt a clear stance on daily fantasy sports,” continued Amaya. “We will actively monitor developments and work with all states interested in implementing clear guidelines for the operation of daily fantasy sports in their jurisdiction.
“In the meantime, StarsDraft intends to focus operations in states with favourable existing daily fantasy sports guidance, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Kansas and Maryland.”
The decision is not anticipated to have a negative financial impact on Amaya. StarsDraft players in all jurisdictions will continue to have access to the funds in their online accounts, which are available for withdrawal at any time.