A new Siena College poll revealed that about two-thirds of registered voters in New York believe that daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel constitute illegal gambling in the state.
The poll results on DFS
The wide-ranging poll of sentiment of New York voters included questions about DFS. The results were released in the wake of Friday’s ruling against DraftKings and FanDuel in the ongoing New York court battle, and the ensuing stay of a preliminary injunction against the two operators.
- 66% of respondents agreed that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman “is right that these activities are gambling and illegal in New York.”
- The support for Schneiderman’s action against DFS somewhat crossed party lines, as the poll indicated a “small majority of Republicans” sided with the AG.
- Younger voters (under age 35) were evenly split, with 51% agreeing with DFS operators that their contests are legal games of skill.
- Only three percent of voters say they have played DFS.
The poll had a margin of error of four percentage points. Here is the raw data and the question asked in the poll:
DFS also showed up in a poll of all Americans in November. In that poll from Seton Hall, about half of respondents said DFS was gambling, and 30% said it was a game of skill; more than half said it should be legal. Thirty-eight percent of Americans agreed with Schneiderman’s actions, and 31% disagreed.
The narrative and reality in New York on DFS
The narrative from the industry has been that Schneiderman’s action against DraftKings and FanDuel was wildly unpopular. Several politicians in New York have called out Schneiderman’s fight against DFS as grandstanding.
Among DFS players, it was a move that won’t garner Schneiderman any votes in any future elections. But the new poll indicates that Schneiderman’s actions are far from a public relations disaster.
That does not mean that there isn’t momentum on the side of DFS outside of the court system. Lawmakers in the state expressed a willingness to legalize and regulate the industry in a hearing last week. And the chairman of the House committee that considered DFS, J. Gary Pretlow, reportedly is more than just lukewarm on the idea of DFS legislation:
My #NY #DFS scoop: @JGPretlow told @GamblingComp he would be willing to sponsor a constitutional amendment bill. https://t.co/mhjsyWOP1O
— Sara Friedman (@SaraEFriedman) December 14, 2015
While the court battle plays out in New York, it’s become clear that a legislative fix will eventually allow DFS to continue in the Empire State, no mater what the courts find. How quickly either the judicial system or the legislative branch will move are both open questions, however.
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