Wrath Of Nanny State: Even Fantasy Football Isn’t Safe

ericThe nanny state in N.Y. was at it again last year, this time trying to shake down fantasy football companies. The state is always trying to protect it’s citizens from gambling (or at least protect them from gambling that the state is not making money off of).  More people are addicted to the lottery than any other form of gambling and the payout ratio for lottery winnings is much worse than virtually any game offered by fantasy sports. Also, fantasy sports involve strategy and are technically not gambling. Those facts don’t matter much to the overlords who govern us.

It looked like fantasy sports were doomed when the N.Y. attorney general filed a law suit against the major players in the industry. Then, without warning everything changed.

After some lobbying by the biggest two fantasy football companies in America, the N.Y. attorney general made a 180 degree turn-around. New York State now loves the fantasy football companies they were suing so much that they have given them special rights:


From LegalSportsReport.com:

When lobbying for the bill — and when lawmakers were considering it — they were trying to make sure the companies operating prior to Schneiderman’s order could get back into the state, without issue.

Steven Eichorn, an associate at Ifrah Law, said he believes the gaming commission erred in implementing the law on this point.

“The NYS Gaming Commission has apparently confused a sufficiency and necessity requirements,” Eichorn told Legal Sports Report. “The point of the bill, which was likely pushed by DraftKings and FanDuel, was to ensure they — even though they operated in New York prior to the legalization of DFS — would still be eligible to receive a temporary permit after DFS was legalized.”

The intent of the law, if not the explicit language, was not to exclude operators that weren’t in NY before that date, Eichorn went on.

“Nowhere does the DFS bill require prior operations in NYS (in violation of the law) to obtain a temporary permit,” he said.

Most operators in the DFS industry would obviously not agree that prior New York law was even a gray area legally prior to the new law. But it’s at least an open question that will no longer be answered in the court, as part of a settlement involving Schneiderman, DraftKings and FanDuel.

But there are at least some smaller operators that steered clear of the New York market based on the law as it existed previously.

It would also stop any relatively new operator — one that launched after the November date — from being in the state immediately. (It’s not clear there are even any DFS operators in the latter set, as launching a US-facing site after November was not something on almost anyone’s radar.)

“The Gaming Commission’s application has made the prior operations a necessity, which borders on the absurd,” Eichorn said. “This requirement of having offered DFS to NYS residents is punitive to operators that clearly complied with NYS law by not offering DFS prior to its passage of this bill.”


Instead of trying to destroy Fantasy Football, New York has now made it virtually impossible to compete with the existing companies! Everyone met, talked in secret and now it’s all good. Amazing how that works out, especially in a state where many of the governor’s closest allies have already been arrested for bribery.