SF, a daily fantasy sports startup by race and sportsbook veterans Michael Knapp and Salerno, announced last week that it would become the first DFS company to apply for a license in Nevada after the Nevada gaming commission ruled in October that all DFS sites would need a license to operate in the Silver State.
But that is just the beginning for USF, which is looking to build pari-mutuel-style fantasy games that USF hopes will work under the existing regulations in many states, Knapp recently told Legal Sports Report.
USF’s similarities to horse racing’s pari-mutuel betting is not an accident. In fact, USF may be the first DFS game that was created in part as a reaction to the regulatory struggles the daily fantasy sports industry finds itself dealing with.
“What we did is kind of work within the framework of the existing rules and regulations that were on the books either in Nevada or in California,” said Knapp, who has decades of experience working for California racetracks, Nevada casinos and in online gaming markets.
“It’s already been done for 75 years at the pari-mutuel tracks,” Knapp said. “That’s what they do. That’s how they deal with it.”
DFS operators like DraftDay and Star Fantasy Leagues are actively looking to work in a regulated environment as well, using a B2B model, although neither has publicly stated that they have applied for a Nevada license.