FanDuel, DraftKings fight threatened shutdown in New York

Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:13pm EST
 
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel urged a New York judge on Wednesday to spare them from a potentially crippling shutdown in one of their top markets by ruling that their contests do not constitute illegal gambling.

But Assistant Attorney General Kathleen McGee, speaking in a packed courtroom, said factors outside of contestants' control including player performance proved that daily fantasy sports materially involved chance, making them illegal forms of gambling under New York law.

"Chance pervades fantasy sports," McGee said.

The hearing in New York Supreme Court came after the state's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, went to court last week seeking to halt DraftKings and FanDuel from offering the highly popular online games in New York, which has more daily fantasy sports players than any other state, according to Eilers Research.

John Kiernan, FanDuel's lawyer, said just because factors like weather or a bad call can impact a game it does not mean the games' results are not largely influenced by the contestants' skills.

"What we have here is clearly a skills-based endeavor," he said.

New York Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez said he would rule "very soon."

The hearing comes amid nationwide scrutiny, at the state and federal level, as to whether the games amount to gambling.   Continued...

 
A DraftKings logo is displayed on a board inside of the DFS Players Conference in New York November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson