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Sports betting pioneer Salerno applies for Nevada gaming license for DFS

9 December 2015

Race and sportsbook pioneer Vic Salerno has applied for a Nevada gaming license to manage a daily fantasy sports business that operates off a platform similar to pari-mutuel wagering.

The system would allow his Nevada-based company to accept daily fantasy sports wagers from Nevada and other states that have similar laws in place.

Salerno applied for an off-track, pari-mutuel sports system operator's license for his company, US Fantasy, to be the first to offer betting on fantasy sports contests through Nevada casinos. He said the company would work with state regulatory agencies, racetracks, off-track-betting parlors, casinos, and lotteries to integrate fantasy sports contests into their jurisdictions.

Nevada already has pari-mutuel sports wagering systems in place with dozens of states to pool race track wagers. Salerno said the concept is also similar to Nevada's agreement to pool online poker wagers with Delaware.

"It's so simple, I can't understand why anyone didn't think of this before," Salerno said. "We know fantasy sports has proven to be an attractive offering for a broader audience. It's a unique opportunity for the industry."

Daily fantasy sports was a booming enterprise until October, when Nevada gaming regulators said the activity constituted sports wagering under Nevada law. Companies offering the activity had to licensed by the state. Daily fantasy sports websites — including the FanDuel and DraftKings — stopped accepting wagers from Nevada customers after the ruling.

Last month, New York's attorney general issued a similar ruling. The daily fantasy sites filed a legal challenge to New York and are awaiting a judge's ruling.

Salerno said the goal is to have US Fantasy operating by the 2016 football season.

In a statement, Salerno said US Fantasy could operate contests through traditional casinos or with mobile devices and online. Current Nevada gaming regulations ensure consumer protections are in place for online or mobile applications utilizing geo-location, age verification, money laundering controls and segregated player cash accounts.

Salerno hopes US Fantasy will co-mingle contest pools among the states to create megacontests.

"I believe we have the talent to bring a revolutionary process to the fantasy sports industry," Salerno said.

Salerno, who was inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame this year, operated Leroy's Horse & Sports place, a stand-alone book in downtown Las Vegas. The company eventually evolved into American Wagering, which managed satellite sports books throughout Nevada. Salerno developed the first self-service sports wagering kiosk in 2002 and Nevada's first mobile sports betting application.

William Hill US acquired American Wagering and Salerno currently serves as its chairman. He said US Fantasy is separate from William Hill.
Sports betting pioneer Salerno applies for Nevada gaming license for DFS is republished from