NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Supporters of daily fantasy sports are rallying in front of the New York Attorney General’s Office to demand the right to keep playing.
Dozens of demonstrators holding signs reading “Ban Schneiderman” and “No Sports Fun For New York,” chanted “Fantasy For All” and “Let Us Play” outside Attorney General Eric Schneiderman‘s office Friday.READ MORE: House Passes Equality Act, Bolstering Legal Protections For LGBTQ Americans
On Tuesday, Schneiderman sent letters to DraftKings and FanDuel ordering them to stop taking wagers in the state. The attorney general said DraftKings and FanDuel’s games constitute illegal gambling, but both companies said their games are legal and based on skill.
“Daily fantasy sports is neither victimless nor harmless, and it is clear that DraftKings and FanDuel are the leaders of a massive, multi-billion-dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans across the country,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
At the Lower Manhattan rally, players were joined by industry employees, who said they’re willing to talk about regulation.
“There’s over 50 million Americans that play fantasy sports,” FanDuel’s Senior Director of Business Development Geoff Bough told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane. “This is ridiculous. Why are we focused on this? Why is this the one thing in New York right now that needs attention?”
Court papers filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Friday show FanDuel and DraftKings are both seeking a judge’s ruling on the legality of their business. They also charge Schneiderman threatened their business partners and payment processors.
In a statement released earlier this week, DraftKings had responded to Schneiderman’s order saying, “fantasy sports is a game of skill and legal under New York state law.” It said it will “pursue this fight to the fullest.”READ MORE: Queens Woman Undergoes Liver Transplant After Doctors Link Mystery Infection To Nose Piercing
FanDuel also insisted winning requires skill, adding, “We strongly disagree with the reasoning in his opinion and will examine and vigorously pursue all legal options.”
New York is not alone in trying to stop the sites. Nevada last month declared the games gambling, which requires their operators to have state licenses. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Georgia are contemplating action as well.
Fantasy sports allow fans to select a virtual team of real-life players and accumulate points based on their performances. The popularity of the games has exploded over the past 15 years.
While many season-long leagues are comprised of friends or co-workers who play for free or pay fees of varying amounts into a jackpot to be paid to winners, the online daily fantasy sports sites have popped up in recent years. Those sites allow paying participants to select a new team, or multiple teams, every day, and large cash prizes are awarded to the top performers.
Buy-in fees on the daily sites can range anywhere from 25 cents to $5,000.
Schneiderman said daily fantasy sports sites are about “instant gratification” and involve no long-term strategy, unlike traditional fantasy leagues, which he said were legal partly because they rely on months of smart play.MORE NEWS: COVID Impact: Advocates Say Pandemic Causing Rising Mental Health Issues, Suicide Rates And Exploding Opioid Crisis
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