Tony Romo Daily Fantasy Sports Suit Suffers Setback
Tony Romo’s bid to host a daily fantasy sports expo suffered a major setback this week in a Dallas court room.
At issue is whether or not the NFL was guilty of tortious interference when it cancelled a daily fantasy sports convention Romo was hosting at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas last fall. (Tortious inference allows a plaintiff to collect damages from a defendant who has wrongfully interfered with their contractual obligations.)
In the NFL’s view, Romo’s event violated the League’s longstanding prohibition against players having anything to do with events that are sponsored by, or take place in casinos.
Romo, his attorneys, and the other expo sponsors contend that the NFL is highly selective about enforcing that particular rule. In court, they pointed out that the NFL was upset that it wasn’t getting a cut of the Expo’s profits and that League officials have allowed other players to participate in events that included gambling – most recently in the form of a Rob Gronkowski-sponsored cruise on a ship with a casino.
But all is not lost for Romo and his daily fantasy sports expo. Not only are he and his lawyers appealing the ruling, they still plan to proceed with several breach of contract claims against the League.
In an interview with ESPN.com, Romo attorney Michael Hurst pointed to what he says is the real reason the NFL put the brakes on the DFS expo saying:
We do know there’s ample evidence in the record that NFL sponsorships and other folks at the NFL got angry that the event had gotten as large as it was getting with no prior involvement.
The NFL, for its part, was quite pleased with the judge’s ruling, which it called, “the correct one.”
With more daily fantasy sports expos planned for late summer and fall, this is an issue that League officials, players, and DFS operators are watching quite closely.