Devlin D'Zmura, a Boston employee of DraftKings, a daily fantasy...

Devlin D'Zmura, a Boston employee of DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, works on his laptop on Sept. 9, 2015. In New York, the company is fighting a move by the state attorney general to ban DraftKings and FanDuel as illegal gambling sites. Credit: AP / Stephan Savoia

(From this week's Albany Watch column)

ALBANY - Assemb. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) has introduced two bills to make fantasy sports legal in New York, following Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit to shut down FanDuel and DraftKings, the companies that control 95 percent of the market.

One bill would declare fantasy sports “games of skill” – an important distinction because Schneiderman argued they meet the definition of games of chance and are, therefore, unsanctioned gambling. The proposal mirrors one offered by Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Amherst.)

The second proposes a constitutional amendment to add fantasy sports to the list of gambling activities approved in the state, such as horse racing.

Horse racing and the lottery, which are allowed in New York, aren’t all that different from fantasy sports, Murray contended, other than the state gets a share of the wagering.

 “If it’s about regulation and the state gets a cut,” Murray said, “then let’s just say that.”


 Murray also has been an outspoken proponent of legalizing mixed-martial arts in New York.