Amaya Withdraws Fantasy Sports Site from Most U.S. Markets

Amaya 2Canadian online gambling operator Amaya Gaming has withdrawn its StarsDraft daily fantasy sports operation from all but four US states, citing regulatory developments.

On Monday, Amaya issued a statement saying StarsDraft would restrict its real-money DFS contests to US customers located in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Kansas and Maryland, the four states Amaya says have “favorable existing daily fantasy sports guidance.” The move follows StarsDraft’s recent exits from both Florida and Nevada, which were prompted by a federal grand jury investigation and state regulators declaring that DFS operators needed gambling licenses, respectively.

Amaya says the exit wouldn’t have a negative financial impact, as StarsDraft only launched in September, following Amaya’s acquisition and subsequent rebranding of Victiv’s DFS business, and the site has yet to gain much traction against the DraftKings/FanDuel duopoly.

Amaya’s efforts to keep its DFS nose clean have far more to do with improving its chances of finding favor with state gaming regulators who might be considering passing real-money online gambling legislation. Despite Amaya’s 2014 acquisition of the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands, opponents say there is still a whiff of impropriety surrounding the brands, both of which featured prominently in the 2011 Black Friday online poker indictments.

More at Calvin Ayre