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Poll sponsored by NY assemblyman shows divided support on regulating DFS

25 Feb 2016

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The legitimacy of popular daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites like DraftKings and FanDuel has been under the microscope, with new bills reviewing the hot topic in 16 states.

According to a new icitizen poll sponsored by New York Assemblyman and Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz (D), support is fairly split when it comes to regulation of daily fantasy sports. Fifty percent of icitizen users support regulating DFS as gambling companies. When results are broken down by age, however, there is greater intensity in support for regulation among older participants. Just 30% of millennials strongly favor regulation, while a substantial 65% of baby boomers do.

“Sites like FanDuel and DraftKings have pitted generations against each other,” said icitizen Director of Research and Polling Mark Keida, “but overall about a third (33%) strongly favor regulating DFS companies as gambling. These poll results uphold the notion that older people are more in support of regulation perhaps because they are less likely to participate in daily fantasy sports.”

This pattern of favorability toward state regulation carries over when respondents are asked their opinion on a local piece of New York legislation. When asked about giving the New York State Gaming Commission jurisdiction over DFS gaming, 59% of respondents overall support granting jurisdiction to the commission; 39% oppose.

Though respondents favor state-enforced restrictions on DFS companies, their opinions are mixed when enforcement comes from private corporations like Citigroup. Fifty percent of users favor state-enforced restrictions on DFS companies, but when asked whether private corporations should be able to restrict payments to sites like FanDuel and DraftKings for any reason, only 28% agreed. Conversely, a majority (72%) believe that corporations need legal grounds to unilaterally block payments to a merchant.

“This poll was a way to quickly educate users and voters on a piece of legislation about daily fantasy sports,” said Ortiz. “Right now, DFS are classified as skill-based games, but the bill I’m sponsoring would classify them as gambling. No matter where users stand on this issue, I was able to gain interesting, data-driven insight into how they felt about the issue and how it should be addressed, which will help when this bill is up for a vote. Polls like this help elected officials like myself understand how our voters feel about our legislative priorities.”

This poll was conducted through leading civic engagement app icitizen and sponsored by Ortiz. The data points reflected in this release are from initial poll results from Feb. 15-19.
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