New York Judge Rules On Daily Fantasy Sports
Legal Sports Report

New York Court Leaves The Door Open For Daily Fantasy Sports

NY Supreme Court DFS
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A New York Supreme Court judge declined to issue an immediate ruling on a request by the state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for an injunction that would have effectively ended the ability of daily fantasy sports sites to operate in the state.

Judge Manuel Mendez told the court that “you will get my decision. It will come very soon.”

“We were glad to have the opportunity to make our case to the court that DraftKings and FanDuel are operating illegal gambling operations in clear violation of the law, and we await the judge’s decision,” said Damien LaVera, spokesperson for Attorney General Schneiderman.

“Today, we presented compelling evidence that Daily Fantasy Sports competitions are as legal now as they have been for the past seven years that New Yorkers have been playing them.  We look forward to Justice Mendez’s ruling,” said a DraftKings spokesperson.

What way will the decision come down?

Attorney and gaming law expert Jeff Ifrah suggested to LSR that handicapping an outcome at this stage is a difficult business.

“We must not forget, the Attorney General is the elected official by the people of NY to enforce NY law. That point is not lost on any given NYS elected Judge on any given day. It is not a simple thing to rule against the AG, especially in a case where the “right” answer is not immediately apparent,” Ifrah said.

“But,” Ifrah continued, “it certainly looks like the AG did himself no favors by immediately recognizing the legality of season long fantasy. That may have the Judge scratching his head.”

“One thing is clear,” concluded Ifrah. “The Court gave consideration to both sides and it may be difficult to argue his decision – whichever way it comes out – is unreasonable per se.”

Recap of the hearing

Review a minute-by-minute live breakdown from within the courtroom via gaming attorney Dan Wallach on our Twitter feed.

The hearing took place over two hours – an increase over the original schedule of one hour – with each side allotted one hour:

  • The NYAG took the first half-hour and reserved the remainder for rebuttal.
  • Counsel for FanDuel followed, with a one-hour lunch break cutting their argument in the middle.
  • Counsel for DraftKings followed.
  • The NYAG then offered their rebuttal, followed by brief rebuttals from FanDuel and DraftKings.

For the first part of the hearing, both sides hewed closely to the briefs they had filed in advance of the hearing.

You can review the the NYAG complaints against FanDuel here and DraftKings here; and the responses from FanDuel here and DraftKings here.

Judge Mendez refrained from questioning for much of the hearing. The first interjection from the bench came nearly an hour into the proceedings:

Another characterization of Mendez’s remark:

https://twitter.com/USLaw_com/status/669572400313442304

Mendez raised another point during rebuttals:

That was the full extent of Judge Mendez’s back-and-forth with the attorneys arguing the case.

Check our Twitter feed for the blow-by-blow.

Timeline of events in the NY DFS case

How did we get to this point in the New York DFS case?

Image credit: Gordon Bell / Shutterstock.com

Chris Grove
- Chris is the 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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