NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 3:31 PM
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ordered FanDuel and DraftKings to shut down, and he is asking a state judge to back him up.
Forget the football field.
This week’s best matchup might be the one between the fantasy football giants and the prosecutors trying to shut them down.
Lawyers for DraftKings and FanDuel went head-to-head Wednesday with prosecutors from the state Attorney General’s office over whether the popular online sports leagues are actually gambling dens in disguise.
Two weeks ago, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ordered FanDuel and DraftKings to shut down, and he is asking a state judge to back him up.
Schneiderman’s team was in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday asking Judge Manuel Mendez to issue an injunction to shut the two companies down immediately.
FanDuel lawyer John Kiernan argued in court that fantasy players are different from gamblers.
They argued that there is a name for the process of forking money over to select a team of players with the hope of cashing in on their success — gambling.
“Whether you call it an entry fee or a stake, it’s something of value,” said Assistant Attorney General Kathleen McGee. “I place my bet. I pick my team and then I watch TV. The rest is up to the athletes.”
Not so simple, say the fantasy folks. Selecting a successful team is a game of skill, and the contests are won by players who pick the best teams.
FanDuel lawyer John Kiernan said there are two things that set fantasy players apart from gamblers: They have to choose a team that is spread across the field so that they can’t depend on one real game played by one real team, and unlike those just placing a bet, participants feel like competitors.
Arguments continue this afternoon.