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Groups Sue NY Over Legalizing Fantasy Sports

Scott Olsen, Getty Images
Scott Olsen, Getty Images

Anti-gambling advocates have filed a lawsuit against the State of New York over legislation that allows daily fantasy sports websites like FanDuel and Draft Kings to operate in New York.

The lawsuit claims that the new law violates the state constitution’s ban on gambling.

In June, NYS lawmakers passed a bill that reinstated the fantasy sports websites, arguing that they do not consider fantasy sports gambling.

The bill requires fantasy sports companies like Draft Kings and FanDuel to register with, and operate under regulations issued by the New York State Gaming Commission.

The organization ‘Stop Predatory Gambling’ is one of the groups behind the lawsuit, and in a release on their website explained their concerns:

“The state’s constitution prohibits gambling, except those forms specifically granted exemptions, such as wagering on horse races, charitable contests, a limited number of commercial casinos and state-operated lottery.”

 

“The plaintiffs seek to protect the public from predatory gambling consistent with the Constitution,” said Attorney Neil Murray of the firm O’Connell and Aronowitz, who filed the litigation. “They also intend to stop FanDuel, DraftKings and other internet gambling operators from exploiting the financially desperate and the addicted in New York.”

SPG and the other groups who filed the lawsuit believe fantasy sports aren’t a game of skill.

“We believe in improving the lives of the people of New York,” said Stop Predatroy Gambling’s National Director Les Bernal. “Daily fantasy sports gambling is a huge rip-off for all citizens, regardless whether you gamble or not.”

However, the bill that reinstated daily fantasy sports in New York State in June aimed to address these concerns:

In addition to establishing the means for regulating interactive fantasy sports in New York State, this legislation also takes steps to institute important consumer protections for players for the first time, some of which include offering introductory procedures to new players, identifying highly experienced players, prohibiting the participation of minors and protecting players’ funds upon deposit.

Cuomo says once fully implemented, the legislation will generate about $4 million in revenue to fund state education aid.

What do you think? Should daily fantasy sports be eliminated, or are they similar to horse racing, lotto, scratch offs and other legal games like Quick Draw?

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