The Latest Daily Fantasy Sports Lawsuit Has A Twist: The Plaintiff Played From A Banned State

Posted on October 13, 2015

The latest in a string of civil suits targeting the daily fantasy sports industry comes with an interesting wrinkle: the plaintiff appears to have been playing real-money DFS from Louisiana – a state blocked by all major DFS operators.

The suit, filed today in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, names FanDuel and DraftKings as defendants.

The plaintiff — Artem Genchanok — is identified as a “resident of New Orleans, Louisiana” who “paid for entry into DFS contests and deposited monies onto Defendants’ websites.”

Legal Sports Report reached out to the firm identified as counsel for the plaintiff via email — The Dugan Law Firm — and asked for confirmation that Genchanok was in Louisiana at the time when the daily fantasy sports play referenced in the suit occurred.

We received a response from the firm confirming that the suit was filed in Louisiana “because the client is living and playing” in Louisiana and further confirming that Genchanok played on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

Copy of the suit here.

Legality of daily fantasy sports in Louisiana

Louisiana is one of five states blocked by not only FanDuel and DraftKings, but effectively all DFS operators.

The terms of use for FanDuel expressly prohibits residents of Louisiana from depositing or playing regardless of location at the time:

In order to deposit money to play paid entry games you must be able to represent and warrant that […] you are not a resident of any of the following states: Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana or Washington.

The primary cause for concern? Louisiana has a law on the books that specifically covers “gambling by computer” and employs a generally broad approach to defining gambling.

The state saw a recent legislative push to legalize fantasy sports run off track by opposition from commercial gambling interests and anti-gambling groups.

Suit joins others, list likely to grow

The suit is the latest in a string of suits filed following news of an inadvertent data leak at DraftKings. The list is expected to grow in the weeks to come.

The primary barrier to such suits resides in the terms of use that users agree to when creating an account at FanDuel or DraftKings. Those terms appear to preclude such actions by users.

The table below lists all the active lawsuits, along with their status and a link to the filings:

 

StateStatusDate filedLawsuit
New York 1Filed (Story)PDF
IllinoisFiledPDF
LouisianaFiled (Story)PDF
MassachusettsFiledPDF
New York 2Filed (attorney, Alan Milstein)PDF
New York 3Filed PDF
New York 4Filed PDF
New York 5Filed 10/16/2015PDF
FloridaFiled PDF
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Chris Grove

Chris is the former publisher of LegalSportsReport.com and OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.

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