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Sunday, Oct 1, 2023

California Fantasy Sports Regulation Bill Advances

Daily fantasy sports operators and fans in California notched a big win at the state legislature late last month that would pave a path to regulating a booming segment of the gaming world.

The bill, AB 1437, garnered nearly unanimous approval of the full assembly, which approved the measure 62-1. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. The lone veto came from California State Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, an outspoken critic of the sector.

The bill, if passed as expected, would establish the first regulatory framework for the industry to vet players and grant licenses to operators, which would have to pay annual fees to the state.

California has the second most DFS players in the country behind New York, according to Anaheim Hills-based market researcher Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC.

Orange County has carved out a nice niche in the emerging sector with fast grower FantasyAces LLC, an Aliso Viejo startup that’s built a name for itself with its live championship events staged at Angels Stadium, sports bars and hotels throughout the region.

“The recent passage through the California Legislature of a bill legalizing and regulating daily fantasy sports will set an important precedent for the other 40-plus states that are currently crafting similar legislation,” said FantasyAces Chief Executive Tom Frisina.

FantasyAces executives and counterparts at FanDuel Inc. in New York and Boston-based DraftKings Inc.—which dominate market share—have lobbied lawmakers and participated in hearings at the state capitol.

Huntington Beach is home to FantasyAlarm, which has more than 2.5 million monthly online visitors who seek inside fantasy tips and advice. Eilers & Krejcik is one of the few research firms in the country analyzing and distributing reports on daily fantasy sports.

Chipmaker Expands to Ireland

Aliso Viejo-based Microsemi Corp. has established a research and development center in Ennis, Ireland.

The 1,900-square-foot Aviation Centre of Excellence will build on the company’s strong aerospace business and design product lines that feature high reliability and intelligent power technology.

The chipmaker’s big customers include Boeing and Airbus, which are increasingly building planes with more electronics and intelligent systems that feature power distribution and generation.

“They want a partner that has the ability to manufacture reliably, repeatedly and in volume,” said Siobhan Dolan Clancy, vice president of business development, aerospace, at Microsemi’s Ireland operation.

Microsemi operates an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing plant next to the R&D center.

Its chips and related hardware and software are used to control electrical motors in flight control and landing gear systems, as well as providing vital sensor feedback. Its super-speedy FPGAs, or field-programmable gate arrays, prevent catastrophic hardware malfunctions at high altitude, where aircraft are susceptible to lightning strikes, as body frames contain more composite materials.

Startup Gets $3.3M

Irvine startup WiSilica raised $3.3 million in a Series A round led by FirstFloor Capital in Malaysia.

Anchor Asia Management, Aurotek and several original angel investors also participated in the round.

The company, which has developed an Internet of Things platform and software to enable devices to communicate through Bluetooth, plans to use the proceeds to boost production and expand into several markets, including smart home, lighting and energy management.

“We are creating a solution for different verticals,” Suresh Singamsetty, who co-founded the company in 2013, told the Business Journal in an earlier interview.

WiSilica also plans to use the funding to add to its employment base of 50, a handful of whom work in Irvine.

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