New York Judge rules daily fantasy contests unconstitutional

New York Judge rules daily fantasy contests unconstitutional

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 Posted by News Team
New York
Ruling from Acting New York Supreme Court Justice does not overturn decriminalisation of DFS, however

Acting Justice of the New York Supreme Court Gerald Connolly has invoked an 1894 amendment to state laws to rule that daily fantasy sports contests violate the state constitution.

The amendment to Penal Law 351 specifically criminalises bets, wagers and pools on contests of skill, speed, power and endurance.

Connolly argues that this effectively annuls the 2016 law passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, which declared daily fantasy contests games of skill, and not forms of gambling, as it violates the ban on gambling set out in the constitution. 

However, Connolly's decision only relates to the regulatory framework for DFS, and does not overturn the decriminalisation of daily fantasy contests. 

The judge made the ruling in a case brought by three individuals, Jennifer White, Katherine West, Charlotte Wellins and Anne Remington, who are either problem gamblers or relatives of problem gamblers. They looked to have the 2016 law declared unconstitutional and overturned.

While the case could potentially force major DFS companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel from the state, the state has the right to appeal Connolly’s verdict. 

The case can also be referred to New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood, whose predecessor Eric Schneiderman supported the 2016 law, despite having launched a bid to have both FanDuel and DraftKings forced out of the state in 2015.

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