In New York, a senior judge has reportedly knocked down a 2016 state law that had permitted daily fantasy sports firms such as DraftKings Incorporated and FanDuel Incorporated to offer their wares to local aficionados.
Competitions violate state’s constitution:
According to Monday reports from The Wall Street Journal and the Democrat and Chronicle newspapers, Acting New York State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly ruled that the legislation violated an 1894 amendment to the eastern state’s constitution that specifically bans ‘pool-making’ and ‘book-selling’.
Connolly’s ruling reportedly read…
“Based on all of the above, the court finds and holds that the constitutional prohibition upon authorization or allowance of pool-selling, bookmaking or any other kind of gambling encompasses interactive fantasy sports.”
Games ‘predominated by skill’:
But, the newspapers reported that Connolly conversely ruled that daily fantasy sports competitions are ‘predominated by skill rather than chance’ and that state legislators had been within their rights to take the games out of the regulations that penalize illegal gambling.
The Democrat and Chronicle reported that the controversial daily fantasy sports legislation had been introduced after former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman began suing providers in 2015. The Democrat purportedly later suspended these prosecutions in order to give legislators in Albany time to act, which they did by passing a measure signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo (pictured) in August of 2016 that defined the competitions as ‘not games of chance’ that ‘do not constitute gambling’ under the state’s penal laws.
However, four anti-gambling advocates reportedly disagreed and filed a lawsuit against the state last year asking the judiciary to rule that daily fantasy sports were illegal under New York’s constitution. Neil Murray, an Albany-based lawyer that helped to bring the action with help from the Stop Predatory Gambling group, purportedly told the Democrat and Chronicle that the ruling means that operators must now immediately stop offering such competitions to people in ‘The Empire State’.
Murray reportedly declared…
“What the judge said is that the law that the legislature passed purporting to legalize daily fantasy sports was unconstitutional and that daily fantasy sports are definitely gambling.”
State may lodge an appeal:
However, the Democrat and Chronicle reported that Connolly’s ruling does not apply to season-long fantasy sport competitions, which have been legal in New York for many years, while the state may be able to delay any immediate shutdown by lodging an appeal.
David Boies, an attorney for DraftKings Incorporated, reportedly detailed that the ruling will allow the daily fantasy sports giant to ‘continue to offer their services to players’ while the newspaper reported that his client and FanDuel Incorporated were still accepting entries from New York-based users as of Monday evening.
Boies reportedly stated…
“We are continuing to study the court’s decision invalidating the regulatory structure and are committed to working with the legislature.”