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FanDuel, DraftKings Face Uncertain Future in New York State

Daily fantasy sports are among the highly popular gaming offerings for individuals of legal age and New Yorkers have enjoyed them ever since 2016. The New York State Appellate Court issued a ruling stating that the gaming offering is considered a breach of the State constitution, as the law greenlighting them brings gaming expansion on a state level.

This week was a milestone one for the State of New York, as the New York Appellate Court was supposed to issue its official position regarding the gaming offering popular across the state. As it became clear, New Yorkers might soon have to forget about their Friday evenings with friends and daily fantasy teams, as the ruling states that there has been a violation of the State Constitution.

NY Court Rules

Back in 2016, the Legislature gave its nod to the offering, stating that it is a game of skill and therefore it does not constitute gambling by definition. This meant that gambling expansion has not taken place with the introduction of legal daily fantasy sports soon after that. However, this Thursday saw the official ruling issued by the New York State Appellate Court on the subject.

In it, the Court rules that the entertainment offering should be considered illegal under the state law, as it is a form of gambling, also known as a game of chance. This violated the State Constitution, as it introduced expanded gaming on a state level. Justice Robert Mulvey stated that the previous Legislature’s stance on the subject was rejected by the New York State Appellate Court.

Attorney Neil Murray has the best interest of the group that brought the lawsuit against daily fantasy sports. He pointed out that the group is content with the ultimate ruling, as they wanted the State Constitution to be respected and protected. It could be recalled that back in 2016, the government gave its approval to the daily fantasy sports bill.

Court of Appeals Would Review Next

DraftKings and FanDuel made their entrance in the local field following the mandatory regulation overseeing their business within the borders of New York. Soon after that, however, questions about the legality of this offering arose and more action had to be taken. Back then Eric Schneiderman was the Attorney-General of New York and he claimed that the offering is an illegal one. A suspension of operation followed soon after that.

Les Bernal, National Director of Stop Predatory Gambling, pointed out that this is a loophole that is being exploited by the New York State and this operation should come to an end, as the budget hole continues growing. For the time being, it remains unclear whether the latest ruling is going to be effective immediately. DraftKings, one of the two leading daily fantasy sports operators in the US, stated that this is unlikely.

The next stop for this ruling would be the Court of Appeals for yet another review and a final decision possibly affecting thousands of gaming enthusiasts. Gambling expansion on a state level must happen with a ballot referendum involving New Yorkers casting their own vote. Back in 2013, they approved commercial casino locations in Upstate New York.