Judge hears DraftKings’ challenge to New York ban

Judge hears DraftKings’ challenge to New York ban

Thursday, November 26, 2015 Totally Gaming
The state's Supreme Court heard arguments concerning the AG's cease and desist order

The immediate future of DraftKings in New York should be decided by the end of the year following yesterday’s (Wednesday) hearing in the state’s Supreme Court.

Judge Manuel Mendez said he would issue a decision “very soon” on the state Attorney General’s bid to shut down the betting operations of daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators DraftKings and FanDuel before the state’s lawsuit goes to trial next year.

AG Eric Schneiderman earlier this month ruled that DraftKings and FanDuel were operating illegal gambling operations in the state and issued a cease and desist order. Both companies have challenged the ruling, and DraftKings immediately sought a court ruling to allow it to continue operations pending the full trial.

Judge Mendez called the adjournment followed arguments by both sides relating to the question of whether people who use the sites are gambling on illegal games of chance, or simply paying entry fees to compete in games of skill.

“If chance is a material element, it doesn’t matter how much ‘skill’ is involved,” says Kathleen McGee, representing the AG’s office. She compared the games to poker, where “some players fare better than others” but it’s still deemed “a game of chance under New York law.”

However, DraftKings lawyer John Kiernan said that the payment “is not a wager ” and players are not “risking something of true value.”

After the hearing, a DraftKings spokesperson said: “Today, we presented compelling evidence that DFS competitions are as legal now as they have been for the past seven years that New Yorkers have been playing them. We look forward to Justice Mendez’s ruling.”

A spokesman for the AG’s office said: “We were glad to have the opportunity to make our case to the court that DraftKings and FanDuel are operating illegal gambling operations in clear violation of the law, and we await the judge’s decision.”

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