NFL accused of DFS ‘hypocrisy’ in lawsuit

NFL accused of DFS ‘hypocrisy’ in lawsuit

Friday, July 24, 2015 Totally Gaming
The League banned players from the Venetian-linked conference

Representatives of the NFL American football league told players they would be fined or banned if they attended a daily fantasy sports (DFS) convention, according to a $1m (€910,000) lawsuit filed by the organisers of the subsequently cancelled National Fantasy Football Convention (NFFC).

While the majority of NFL franchises have been allowed to sign partnerships with DFS companies FanDuel and DraftKings in the last year, Fan Expo LLC said the League warned star players such as Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo that they would be violating regulations by visiting the NFFC as it was to be held at an exhibition centre at The Venetian Resort, Las Vegas, which it deemed a “gambling-related establishment”.

The subsequent withdrawal of players, agents and media representatives led to the event being cancelled and Fan Expo is now seeking $1m in damages, claiming the NFL "illegally interfered" with its staging.

“Perhaps most appalling, history shows the NFL’s hypocrisy and selective enforcement of its policy against casinos and gambling,” reads the Fan Expo deposition.

The NFL's gambling policy states that the League does not allow participating in any appearances that are held or sponsored by a gambling-related establishment, however Fan Expo argues that the Las Vegas Sands-owned Venetian’s convention centre does not host any gambling operations.

Despite claims from many that DFS is a type of sports betting, the NFL has certainly welcomed the sector in the last year, with most of its teams now entering partnerships with DFS companies which allow their logos to be displayed in arenas.

The NFL, unlike the MLB baseball, NBA basketball and NHL ice hockey organisations, does not have a DFS partner itself, and does not allow franchise logos to be used on fantasy companies’ adverts and websites.

The NFL has not commented on the lawsuit.

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