February 7, 2020 3 min read


Daily Fantasy Sports Contests Declared Illegal By New York Court

Last Thursday, a New York State appeals court delivered a ruling that has cast yet another shadow of uncertainty on the future of daily fantasy sports betting in the state. According to the court’s ruling, a law that was signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo back in August 2016 is unconstitutional. The law in question stated that fantasy sports were not a form of gambling and therefore could not be treated as such. However, the activity was subject to its own set of guidelines and regulations related to consumer protection, registration as well as taxation.

How It All Started

Just a little over a month after Governor Cuomo signed the law that allowed sports betting, a number of state residents challenged it in a court of law. Four of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that was filed against the fantasy sports law said that they had experienced harm due to the activity. Representing them was a group known as Stop Predatory Gambling which is concerned with gambling-related justice. The group has been very critical about how gambling laws are handled in the state with daily fantasy sports law being one of their main concerns.

Les Bernal, the national director of Stop Predatory Gambling, believes that the reason why the state has prohibited state-promoted commercialized gambling is because that would be “a form of consumer financial fraud.” As such, the state failed terribly in this regard since by exempting fantasy sports from gambling laws, it cheated and has been exploiting its people – he cited the debt culture that has swept across the state.

So far, everything seems to be working out in favor of the lobbyist group and the plaintiffs. This is because the ruling that was delivered earlier this week upholds a previous one from the Albany County Supreme Court.

“We’re very gratified by the. We think the integrity of the New York State Constitution has been upheld,” attorney Neil Murray, who represents Stop Predatory Gambling stated.

Needless to say, this is set to result in a good deal of shakeups in the next few months as we wait for the next appeal hearing.

What Next?

As it stands, one of the most logical steps forward will be a constitutional amendment that is expected to fix some of the issues brought forward by the lawsuit. Naturally, the state’s daily fantasy sports operators will have to make necessary adjustments if they wish to keep operating in the state. While they have maintained that there is nothing wrong with the law, they will still have to go with what the court rules.

Till then, fans of daily fantasy sports are likely to still have access to the contests offered by existing operators in the states.


As an avid follower of sports and the newly recognized industry of esports, Heidi uses her expertise to help the team push out the best sports content. She is also continually learning more about the gambling industry in general and pushes out a variety of content.

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