Playing Daily Fantasy? It Could Be Illegal Gambling.

If you’re like me, you’re part of the millions of sports fans who have started to dabble in daily fantasy. Whether it be Draft Kings or Fan Duel, you see their ads every 15 seconds. “Draft a new team every day!” “Win a butt load of money!” So, why not?

Only there’s a new problem on the already growing stack of problems. The state of New York now says it’s illegal.

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman sent a cease and desist letter to Draft Kings and Fan Duel, ordering them to stop taking bets from New York residents. 

Schneiderman described daily fantasy as illegal gambling and an activity which misleads customers. 

“Our investigation has found that, unlike traditional fantasy sports, daily fantasy sports companies are engaged in illegal gambling under New York law, causing the same kinds of social and economic harms as other forms of illegal gambling, and misleading New York consumers. Daily fantasy sports is neither victimless nor harmless, and it is clear that DraftKings and FanDuel are the leaders of a massive, multi-billion-dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans across the country. Today we have sent a clear message: not in New York, and not on my watch.”

The state of New York launched an investigation last month after daily fantasy site employees were accused of wining gobs of money from insider information.  Is it possible the state really found something?

It’s possible considering they decided to take such a bold stance. 

Fan Duel has been around since 2009 and Draft Kings is more than three years old, so daily fantasy is nothing new. The only thing new is the amount of money coming in and advertising being pumped out. 

New York is now the seventh state to disallow any type of daily fantasy game. It should also be noted that New York has more than a dozen casinos and a state lottery — typical inconsistency that we’ve seen from other states.

Does daily fantasy take skill? Yes. Is it still gambling? Let’s be honest with ourselves, it is. But just like poker, blackjack or horse racing, let’s regulate it and move on.

Reports indicate that Draft Kings will fight the ruling, which isn’t shocking considering this could be the tipping point. If New York bans it, other states may soon follow.

Fan Duel has its offices in New York.


Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.