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Tips for Fantasy Sports Cos. As State AGs Target Industry

Law360

Leslie L. Meredith, Douglas F. Gansler

Selecting the roster of your fantasy football team can be a maddening exercise. You could spend hours analyzing running backs’ carries per game, yards-per-carry averages, and weighing your pass protection concerns against injury risk. But, as they say, on any given Sunday anything can happen. Your chosen running back could get injured in the first quarter, or make a huge completion only to have the play called back because of a minor penalty committed by a teammate on the other side of the field.

In a season-long fantasy sports league, your strategy might hold up over the course of the season despite one bad game. You could make a trade or bench your underperformers. But, in a one-day league, you’re out of luck. A bad bounce, a rain-slick field, even a gust of wind can frustrate the most carefully chosen lineup — and mean the difference between winning big or walking away with nothing at all.

This is exactly the argument recently made by lawyers from the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a New York state courtroom, when they successfully sought a preliminary injunction to stop fantasy sports industry giants DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. from operating in New York. Schneiderman issued cease-and-desist letters to DraftKings and FanDuel on Nov. 10, 2015, ordering the daily fantasy sports giants to stop accepting deposits from New York residents and declaring that the games constituted illegal gambling causing “the same kinds of social and economic harms as other forms of illegal gambling.”

Originally published in Law360; reprinted with permission.