NY appeals court rules for fantasy sports

NY appeals court rules for fantasy sports

January 13, 2016 10:28 AM
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Daily Fantasy sports contests can continue in New York until Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman’s efforts to shut down DraftKings and FanDuel are resolved, a panel of appellate court judges has ruled.

The New York AG tried to bar the two companies from doing further business in New York, and had also directed that they refund prize money that had been paid out.

This week’s appeals court ruling means FanDuel and DraftKings can continue doing business as the NBA and NHL playoffs progress and lawyers on either side of the issue wrestle with the ruling of Justice Manuel Mendez who had upheld the attorney general’s ruling that daily fantasy sports events are illegal gambling.

It could be mid-year or later before the issues involved in this case play themselves out.

Elsewhere this week, DFS operators received more good news with the recommendation of the Massachusetts Gaming Commisssion that regulations affecting all online sports, including those offered by FanDuel and DraftKings should be drafted to protect the interests of customers and the state.

Mendez ruled on Dec. 11 that the sites should close while they fight Schneiderman, saying the attorney general was likely to succeed and there was a need to protect the public. Mendez noted then that his ruling was not the final word on the subject.

An appeals court later that day put Mendez’s ruling on hold pending the outcome of an appeal that was extended by the broader panel this week.

Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Maura Healey has scheduled a public hearing on daily fantasy sports rules for Jan. 22 in Boston. The state is accepting public comments.

A FanDuel statement says in part, “We believe fantasy sports have operated legally in New York, but we do believe common sense regulations to protect consumers and reflect the evolution and growth of the game are needed. New York is working toward such regulations and we will work with them to achieve it.”

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: PhilHevener@GamingToday.com.