Not so fast: Anti-gambling group chases after DFS approval in New York

New York started August on a positive note when it finally allowed daily fantasy sports players to indulge their favorite pastime on a legal basis—a move that ticked gambling critics across the country.

Not so fast: Anti-gambling group chases after DFS approval in New York And so, consistent with the notion that you can’t please everybody, Washington, D.C.-based group Stop Predatory Gambling is going to try reversing the newly enacted law. Les Bernal, national director of the anti-gambling group, told Buffalo News that he is considering suing to block the implementation of New York’s new law.

Gambling critics accused New York of not going “by the book” in order to legalize DFS, pointing out that instead of going through a lengthy constitutional amendment process, the state Legislature merely passed a statutory change declaring fantasy sports contests to be games of skill, and therefore exempt from the existing gambling laws.

“There is no single act of New York state government that creates more inequality of opportunity than its sponsorship of predatory gambling,” Bernal said, according to the report.

Bernal said his group is already in the process of “finding potential plaintiffs” in the state.

New York’s DFS law, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo several weeks ago, legalizes daily fantasy sports in the state. Under the law, operators must apply for licenses and pay 15 percent tax on revenue from New York players. Operators must also pay an additional 0.5 percent of revenue, but not exceeding $50,000, to cover licensing fees.

The news is music to the ears of DFS operators, including rivals DraftKings and FanDuel, who had feared starting a new NFL season locked out of one of their largest markets. The two major DFS operators agreed to stop offering real-money DFS play to New York residents back in March just so state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will halt his criminal prosecution of the sites.

New York is now the eighth U.S. state—alongside Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, and Massachusetts—to pass DFS-friendly legislation since January. The state’s inclusion on the list is particularly gratifying to newly-rebranded FanDuel, whose corporate headquarters is located in New York City.