Before I continue let me say I’m typing on the fly because I’m teaching today – I’m looking forward to spending Veterans Day with students. Thanks goes out to all those who served our country and continue to do so. The following is just a quick commentary about the recent C&D issued by NY’s AG demanding fantasy sports companies stop accepting wagers in the state.
Should @DraftKings [ and other fantasy sports companies ] take its case to court? My thoughts are that the company ought to go to court to do what’s necessary to protect its rights but it should be careful before arguing that the law is on its side when actually the law is most likely on the side of the AG — but that doesn’t mean it should not fight to change the law.
Yesterday news traveled quickly after the N.Y. Attorney General ordered fantasy sites like Draft Kings and Fan Duel to stop accepted wagers in the State. News media outlets were quick to tweet out the news and both @DraftKings and @FanDuel were equally quick to tweet rebuttals.
To those who have been following the evolution of fantasy sports and are familiar with the legalities of the matter, the cease and desist ordered by the State of New York’s AG should come as no surprise. In my opinion, it was only a matter of time.
Here’s what I think should happen next. Draft Kings should do exactly what its spokesperson claimed it would do and that is “examine and vigorously pursue all legal options available to ensure our over half a million customers in New York State can continue to play the fantasy sports games they love.” Only I would be cautious of standing on the argument that fantasy sports, and in particular daily fantasy sports, do not rely on elements of luck simply because the current laws might be worded where games of chance are considered sports betting, thus making them illegal. The course I would take is to look to show that just because there might be elements of luck involved, that does not mean they are bad for the sport or the people.
What makes fantasy sports so bad for the sport? Chances are that if examined with a view of the totality of circumstances and an open mind, many might see that daily fantasy sports are actually good for the game. So rather than stand committed to a stance that would likely fail in court, I would look to have the laws evolve and work in a strategic manner that would show that the there is nothing wrong with engaging in fantasy sports. Consider how much money is spent on illegal gambling, and consider that fantasy sports actually serves an interest of the public, and you are likely to have the laws re-written but stand on an argument that the games do not involve luck, and you’re likely to be somewhat unlucky in court.