NEW YORK, N.Y. (WIVB) — The nation’s two leading fantasy football betting websites have been told their operations are illegal in New York State.
News broke on Tuesday that New York’s Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman demanded FanDuel and DraftKings stop taking bets in the Empire State.
“Daily fantasy sports is neither victimizes nor harmless, and it is clear that DraftKings and FanDuel are the leaders of a massive, multi-billion-dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans cross the country,” Schneiderman said.
The betting websites were reportedly deemed illegal gambling, but representatives from both websites have said the games are games of skill, not chance.
Users of the FanDuel Application were greeted by a message presenting them with the opportunity to sign a petition telling Schneiderman they want to keep the website in New York.
“Tell him he picked the wrong fight,” the app urges FanDuel fans.
Schneiderman fired back.
“Today we have sent a clear message: not in New York, and not on my watch.”
The news drew mixed reaction on social media. Some said they were happy to see the service go, others said New York needs to clean up its own government before taking down private businesses.
FanDuel released the following statement after the news broke:
“Fantasy sports is a game of skill and legal under New York State law. This is a politician telling hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers they are not allowed to play a game they love and share with friends, family, coworkers and players across the country. The game has been played — legally — in New York for years and years, but after the Attorney General realized he could now get himself some press coverage, he decided a game that has been around for a long, long time is suddenly now not legal. We have operated openly and lawfully in New York for several years. The only thing that changed today is the Attorney General’s mind.”
The Attorney General’s office released the following statement regarding an investigation into the betting websites:
AG Schneiderman said, “Our investigation has found that, unlike traditional fantasy sports, daily fantasy sports companies are engaged in illegal gambling under New York law, causing the same kinds of social and economic harms as other forms of illegal gambling, and misleading New York consumers. Daily fantasy sports is neither victimless nor harmless, and it is clear that DraftKings and FanDuel are the leaders of a massive, multi-billion-dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans across the country. Today we have sent a clear message: not in New York, and not on my watch.”
Rep. Chris Collins released a statement blasting Schneiderman for denying New Yorkers access to fantasy sports.
“New York’s Attorney General once again proved that he is singularly focused on grabbing newspaper headlines,” said Congressman Collins. “In this draconian decision, Schneiderman is unilaterally denying hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers that use FanDuel and DraftKings the ability to compete in this game of skill. Instead of looking to score political points, the Attorney General should be working with federal and state lawmakers to ensure laws are being followed. Instead, he’s opting for a two minute drill. Let’s all take a timeout from government overreach and make sure we get it right.”