Pro Unions want Revenue from DFS

Several states are seeing daily fantasy sports bills like Georgia. Questions such as will Virginia allow sports betting are plentiful on the internet. The talk is due to the US Supreme Court decision to give the power back to the states to decide if they will or will not allow sports betting.

The ruling has also gotten the attention of the pro player unions. The various unions that represent professional athletes in America believe they should get some of the profits from daily fantasy sports operators. These unions have renewed their talk of getting such compensation after the US Supreme Court ruling gave the power back to the states.

Friday, May 18, 2018, representatives from the four major pro leagues—MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA—as well as the major league soccer, and women’s team association filed a brief with the Indiana Supreme Court. The brief requests that DFS operators FanDuel, and DraftKings share a part of their revenue.

The case was filed in 2016 by three college football players who felt they should get compensation for the use of their names, statistical data, and likeness being used by DFS operators. The NFL also filed a similar case in 2015, in Maryland.

The case and now the new brief is all up in the air. The lawsuit mentions Indiana’s right of publicity statute. However, the lower courts said the DFS operators “use of the players” identities falls in the exceptions, which are “public interest” and “newsworthiness.” Athletes have continued to appeal the lower court rulings and even appealed to pro player unions to help them win their argument.

Friday’s New Brief

The new filing says “content matters” when assessing the statute. The paperwork also mentions if the public figures are protected based on the commercial uses of their names and performance data. The brief says that yes the plaintiffs are newsworthy and their data is essential to fans. However, the DFS is not a source of newsworthy information or for reporting public interest matters; they are creating a context where information is being used for prize money, which says the identities of the names being used would fall outside the statutory exemptions.

With the US Supreme Court changing the sports betting laws the case could have a new turn of events. The fact is people enjoy making wagers on sports, and pro players are asking for more revenue from the use of their names and data.

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