Nevada Gaming Approves Pari-Mutuel Style Wagering on Daily Fantasy Sports
A new form of daily fantasy sports based on the kind of pari-mutuel wagering used in horse racing has been approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission.
USFantasy was given unanimous approval by the gaming commission last week for an operating license in Nevada to operate an off-track, pari-mutuel sports system. Former Las Vegas bookmaker and William Hill US chairman Vic Salerno owns and operates USFantasy.
USFantasy will provide a menu of daily and weekly fantasy sports contests that will include the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, PGA Tour and other sports using a pari-mutuel betting system.
“This is really a turnkey operation for the casinos,” Salerno said. “The infrastructure is in place and the regulation is in place for it.”
The NFL will drive the action beginning this fall and Salerno estimates “80 percent” of Nevada’s sports books will offer the daily fantasy sports contests, including nearly 60 sports books in Las Vegas. .
“Instead of calling them races, we would call them events,” Salerno said. “The first race instead of having horses, we list the top 20 quarterbacks in the NFL and you can bet on them.”
USFantasy has a better game plan than horse racing. The average takeout from the pari-mutuel wagering pools will be about half of the 20 percent in horse racing.
The fantasy contests will offer win/place/show and exotic wagering for all contests offered. For fantasy football, a $1 million progressive jackpot Pick 7 contest is planned for correctly selecting the winners of seven different categories.
The USFantasy product resembles fantasy sports in that players in real-world games score points based on their performances. From there, the mechanics resemble horse racing. The odds are determined by which players receive the highest volume of bets – just as in horse racing.
Here’s how a contest would work in football, for example:
- A contest is based on a single position, quarterback or wide receiver, for example.
- Players can choose from a pool of players at that position, betting on them to “win,” “place” or “show.”(The number of fantasy points the player scores determines their position. Players score five points for a touchdown, for instance.)
- Players can also place bets like they would in horse racing, with exactas(picking the top two players), trifectas (top three players) or daily doubles (picking winners of two contests).
- All wagers are placed in a pari-mutuel pooland distributed after all player performances are complete and tabulated.
- There will also be a $1 millionprogressive jackpot for NFL, where players can enter all seven available contests in a given week. If a player picks the top fantasy-point producer for all seven contests, he or she would win the jackpot.
- Because the wagering is done on apari-mutuel basis, wagers on players that are bet on heavily won’t pay as well as ones on wagers with less bettor action.
Salerno said the USFantasy concept is far more transparent than FanDuel or DraftKings style daily fantasy games because of the creation of pari-mutuel pools.
Time will tell if this type of wagering will become legal in other horse racing states, but approval of such DFS type system would increase interest in horse racing.