If you’re a New York-based daily fantasy sports player who was thinking that this was going to be your year to win big, we have some very bad news for you.
In an announcement made Monday afternoon, the Attorney General of New York said that both Draft Kings and FanDuel have agreed to stop taking real money action from New York residents. It’s a deal that buys the daily fantasy sports industry a bit of time, but doesn’t answer the bigger questions about where the controversial industry fits in the bigger, regulated gambling industry.
In exchange for halting real money tournaments (for-fun tournaments will continue unfettered) the NY Attorney General has agreed to suspend its litigation against the industry until an appellate court hears their case. The benefit for the daily fantasy sports sites is that this delays the potential repayment of every penny they’ve collected in the state of New York, which is what the Attorney General is after.
One possibility that could tip the scales in favor of the daily fantasy sports sites is that the New York State Assembly could pass a bill legalizing the game throughout the state. This isn’t necessarily pie-in-the-sky, as the Assembly is currently considering exactly that, and should be making a decision within two weeks.
In a statement to the press, as reported on by ESPN.com, a FanDuel representative spoke about the importance of keeping DFS legal in New York, where the company is currently based saying:
We are proud to be one of New York’s largest startup companies, and while it is disheartening for us to restrict access to paid contests in our home state, we believe this is in the best interest of our company, the fantasy industry and our players while we continue to pursue legal clarity in New York.
For now anyways, it looks like the daily fantasy sports giants have bought themselves a little more time.