DraftKings Files Suing Illinois Over Daily Fantasy Sports Ban
Earlier this week, DraftKings filed suit against Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan looking to lift the DFS ban she imposed a few weeks back. The suit also asks that the state review, and rescind, its claim that DFS is gambling under Illinois law.
Under current Illinois state law, all contests that involve a prize of any value are considered gambling if the participants are not actually playing the game. This includes both games of skill and games of chance.
In her legal opinion, Madigan spelled out the reason for the ban in pretty plain terms saying:
Persons whose wagers depend upon how particular, selected athletes perform in actual sporting events stand in no different stead than persons who wager on the outcome of any sporting event in which they are not participants.
DraftKings, not surprisingly, disagrees with Madigan and in a statement of their own said:
Chicago may be the best sports town in the country… 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.
What’s not beyond anyone familiar with the DFS market is why DraftKings is fighting so hard to maintain its position in the Illinois. Illinois players account for a full 10% of DraftKings’ current player base.
The DFS industry may wind up catching a break though. According to a report from a Chicago CBS affiliate, state legislators are working on a bill that would bring DFS into the regulated gaming arena.