Florida residents who originally filed a class action suit in their state’s federal court have once again filed a motion to amend. Specifically the amendment states that the plaintiffs seek to add a number of defendants because “numerous categories of Defendants are considered to be culpable for the success of the illegal gambling operation in question, such as the equity holders and financiers in Defendants Fanduel and DraftKings, in addition to the credit card companies, banks and the credit card processing companies.”
Targeted equity holders and investors include the NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, plus New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, and New York Knicks owner James Dolan. Media outlets include Turner Sports, Time Warner, NBC Sports, Comcast, 21st Century Fox, and Fox Sports Interactive.
The original lawsuit claimed that daily fantasy sports (DFS) companies, specifically FanDuel Inc. and DraftKings Inc., dupe the average consumer while allowing the players who use sophisticated algorithms and complex analytics systems to gain a significant advantage. Shortly after the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s ruling that would require DFS operators to obtain a gaming license, the Florida suit was amended to include that the defendants were running an illegal gambling enterprise.
This second, most recent amendment not only significantly expands the pool of defendants to include both investors as well as media outlets and support services who profit from DFS activities, but several “apex predator” DFS players who utilize aggressive automated bots to gain a superior advantage.
In the meantime, much is riding on Justice Manuel Mendez’s decision on November 25th, and whether or not he makes the determination as to whether DFS play is gambling, essentially backing NY AG Eric Schniderman’s application for a preliminary injunction.