Illinois latest state to outlaw DFS

Illinois latest state to outlaw DFS

Thursday, December 24, 2015 Totally Gaming
AG Lisa Madigan ruled that DFS contests are games of chance

FanDuel has called on Illinois’ lawmakers to “give back to the people of Illinois the games they love” after the state’s Attorney General banned daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests.

Lisa Madigan announced her decision yesterday (Wednesday), just over a month after her New York counterpart Eric Schneiderman issued a cease and desist order to FanDuel and rival DraftKings.

In a letter to FanDuel and DraftKings, Madigan told the market leaders to change their terms of use to “include Illinois as an additional state whose residents are not eligible to participate in contests”.

A bill to regulate DFS in Illinois was introduced by Rep Mike Zalewski in November, but FanDuel admitted that the loss of players from the fifth most populous US state would be a major blow. 

In a statement, FanDuel said: “Chicago may be the best sports town in the country. It’s a city — and Illinois is a state — that plays fantasy sports like almost no other. So why the Attorney General would tell her 13.5 million constituents they can’t play fantasy sports anymore as they know it — and make no mistake, her opinion bans all forms of fantasy sports played for money — is beyond us.

“Hopefully, the legislature will give back to the people of Illinois the games they love. A sports town like Chicago and a sports-loving state like Illinois deserve nothing less.”

Madigan pointed out that state law “clearly declares that all games of chance or skill, when played for money, are illegal gambling in Illinois”. She added: “It is my opinion that daily fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling under Illinois law.”

With provisional bans in Illinois, New York and Nevada in the last two months, DFS operators have potentially lost access to markets with almost 36 million residents.

David Boies, counsel to DraftKings, said: “The company intends to promptly seek a judicial resolution of its right to offer daily fantasy sports contests to Illinois residents.

“As it does so, it will continue to abide by all relevant laws and will follow the direction of the courts. Pending that resolution the company will preserve the status quo.”

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