Anti-Gambling Group Seeks to Block Daily Fantasy in New York
In what feels like a saga that has no end, there is an additional source of resistance to the legalization of daily fantasy sports in New York state.
What a rollercoaster. First, you couldn't escape the advertising of FanDuel and DraftKings--I mean, it genuinely felt, at the beginning of last football season, like the real "Fan Duel" was a duel between these two companies to see who could more thoroughly annoy fans with their commercials.
No, seriously. It inspired headlines like:
I don't know if the flagrant, arrogant over-advertising of their companies, flaunting the questionable legality of their business practices is what actually inspired it--or if it was the fact that one of the companies' employees made a ton of money from insider info--but shortly thereafter, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman decided to do a little poking around and get to the bottom of what "daily fantasy sports" actually entailed and what implications it had for gambling in the state of New York.
This led to the state declaring daily fantasy sports (going forward, DFS, because typing out "daily fantasy sports" fifty times sucks) to be a form of gambling and, therefore illegal in New York state.
Eventually, New York passed a law (after having been illegal since November 2015) to legalize DFS, with the provision that the DFS companies would pay a percentage to the state scholarship fund (where the money from the lottery allegedly goes).
So this weird journey is over, right?
Not so fast.
We've gone over the legal aspects of DFS, about how the games are actually defined, how that relates to legality and gambling as a legal definition... but now we've gotta talk morality.
“We believe in improving the lives of New Yorkers, and part of that mission is to repeal the state’s predatory gambling policies, and litigation is part of that effort,” said Les Bernal, national director of the Washington, D.C.- based Stop Predatory Gambling.
Yep, there's an advocacy group working against gambling, and right now they're campaigning against the legalization of DFS in New York state.
Now they, along with some others are planning on or at least considering suing the state; their grievance is that the state did not actually do in-depth assessment of the situation but instead merely reclassified DFS as a "game of skill," instead of recognizing it as a new and independent form of gambling.
According to the Buffalo News:
“I think it’s all going to rise and fall if there’s a challenge under the state constitution,” Daniel Wallach, a Florida attorney, told a group of gambling industry lawyers and executives at a conference last week in Saratoga Springs.
So, who wants to take bets on what happens next?