NYS Gaming Comission challenging State Supreme Court Judge’s ruling on fantasy sports sites

Local News

UPDATE (11/28/2018) 

The New York State Gaming Commission and Governor Andrew Cuomo have appealed Justice Connolly’s decision. 

The appeal was filed by Attorney General Barbara Underwood on Tuesday, November 28. 

Justice Connolly has ordered that the Gaming Commission and Governor Cuomo, by their Counsel, appear in court on January 3, 2019.


ORIGINAL (10/30/2018)

Fantasy sports teams could be benched for good in New York State. A state judge says FanDuel, Draft Kings and other fantasy sports sites are illegal.

A New York State Supreme Court Judge is calling foul when it comes to fantasy sports gaming.
“Basically the courts said that daily fantasy sports is gambling,” said Neil Murray, an attorney with O’connell & Aronowitz in Albany.

In a ruling Friday, Justice Gerald Connolly called fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and Draft Kings illegal. He also says the 2016 law passed by legislators allowing those sites to operate is unconstitutional.

Albany attorney Neil Murray brought the case against the state two years ago.

“It’s taken a long time to get to this point,” said Murray.

Former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called FanDuel and Draft Kings illegal  and wanted all bets off in 2015.

State lawmakers called fantasy sports a game of skill. But Murray disagrees.

“The element of chance and you bet on the element of chance,” said Murray.

Legislators passed a law in 2016, allowing fantasy sports companies to play ball in New York State under certain regulations like operator fees and taxes.

In his ruling, Justice Connolly says lawmakers didn’t have the authority to make that exception.
“And since the constitution prohibits that type of gambling and daily fantasy sports is gambling,  the laws that they passed to try to allow and permit it are in fact themselves illegal,” said Murray.

Murray says he hopes to see these fantasy sports companies stop operating in the state.
But the judge’s ruling doesn’t call to shut down fantasy sports games — leaving the fate of fantasy sports — a toss up.

Murray says he believes the state will appeal. News 4 reached out to several lawmakers but didn’t hear back.

Govenor Andrew Cuomo’s office is reviewing the decision, as well as the State Gaming Commission.

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