In a major blow to daily fantasy sports, the N.Y. Attorney General has declared placing money on daily fantasy competitions is illegal gambling in the state and sent cease-and desist letters to FanDuel and DraftKings. Over the past several months, both daily fantasy sports sites have pointed to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, claiming they offer games of skill and are therefore separate from state gambling laws.
However, the Attorney General claims users of daily fantasy sites “are clearly placing bets on events outside their control of influence, specifically on the real game performance of professional athletes.” Both major daily fantasy sites plan to work closely with relevant authorities around the nation to prevent this decision from spreading to other states. Since the NHL, NBA, and MLB all have equity positions in daily fantasy, the future legality of these sites is a pressing issue to the entire sports industry.
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Sam Lifton is the Editor for Online Content for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and a current second year student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2017).