The state of New York was hoping to increase the scope of its legalized sports betting industry in 2020, but now it looks like it could all come crumbling down. Mobile/online betting was supposed to be at the center of the discussions in the state legislature, but the court systems have now brought some bigger questions to the forefront.
A New York Appeals Court has now ruled that daily fantasy sports is illegal, which comes as a shock to those in the industry.
The appeals court ruled that daily fantasy sports games are a game of chance, which is viewed to be unconstitutional when it comes to New York law. Daily fantasy sports has been legalized since August 2016, when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law.
The signature from Cuomo opened the door for sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel to operate in the Empire State, but the courts are now looking to shut down the industry completely and immediately.
One of the main reasons that Governor Cuomo felt confident in signing the daily fantasy sports bill into law was that he felt that these were games of skill. There was no law prohibiting this, but the law was immediately challenged by a group of people that were dealing with family members who were being hurt by gambling.
This group of people was able to band together to create a lawsuit that challenged Cuomo and the daily fantasy sports law. The group argued that a new amendment would have to be added to the state Constitution if daily fantasy sports was going to continue in the state.
This legal battle and subsequent court case is being called White vs. Cuomo, and it is expected to last several months before a final ruling is made. Stop Predatory Gambling is the activist group that is speaking out against sports betting, but daily fantasy sports betting in particular.
They are arguing that sports betting is causing conflict and danger to families within the state, and they want the entire operation shut down immediately. This isn’t the first time that gambling has been challenged in the court systems in New York, which is what prompted Cuomo to sign a new law in the first place.
Response From DraftKings and FanDuel
FanDuel and DraftKings aren’t the only daily fantasy sports sites in the state of New York, but they are the top providers. Both companies will continue to offer DFS games in the state of New York while this issue is clearly headed to the New York Supreme Court.
Daily fantasy sports is currently legal and offered in 43 states in the US, but losing the New York market would be a crushing blow to DraftKings and FanDuel. Both DraftKings and FanDuel have expressed their support of this law, and they both seem confident that a resolution will be found that will keep them in business in New York.