The Nevada Gaming Control Board's effort to require fantasy sports sites to have gambling licenses has won the backing of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
“I fully support the Nevada Gaming Commission's determination that daily fantasy sports is gambling. We have seen reports of insider betting and of young people gambling thousands of dollars a day with these unregulated companies. Until now, the websites offering daily fantasy sports have been operating in what is at best a legal gray area," the Nevada Democrat said in a statement. "Yesterday, the Nevada Gaming Commission, which has more experience regulating gaming than any other entity in the country, made it clear that these daily fantasy gambling companies must be regulated and held to the same high standards as other gaming operators in the state."
Gaming Commission Chairman A.G. Burnett issued a memo Thursday saying daily fantasy sports games (like those operated by DraftKings and FanDuel) are forms of sports betting under Nevada law.
"Because DFS involves wagering on the collective performance of individuals participating in sporting events, under current law, regulation and approvals, in order to lawfully expose DFS for play within the State of Nevada, a person must possess a license to operate a sports pool issued by the Nevada Gaming Commission," Burnett wrote.
CQ Roll Call first asked Reid about the daily fantasy games in September, at which point he indicated there was reason for concern.
"I hope there’s ways of controlling this money that’s obviously being bet on fake games and fake players," Reid said at the time.
On Friday, Reid encouraged other gaming regulators to follow Nevada's lead.
"Unless more states follow, we are going to see more corruption and families torn apart because of unregulated, illegal gambling," said Reid.
Related: Reid Hopes for Scrutiny of Fantasy Sports Betting Pallone Wants Congressional Hearing on Fantasy Sports < See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.