Illinois Gives Fantasy Sports Some Bad News – by Reuters DECEMBER 23, 2015, 7:18 PM EST

Decision by the state’s attorney general creates a huge hurdle for FanDuel and DraftKings. Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at Dec 24, 2015 4.07

(Reuters) – Illinois on Wednesday became the latest state to ban its residents from playing daily fantasy sports contests offered by FanDuel and DraftKings, after the attorney general said the sites constitute “gambling” under Illinois law.

“In light of the opinion, we expect that both FanDuel and DraftKings will amend their Terms of Use to include Illinois as an additional state whose residents are not eligible to participate in contests,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement.

FanDuel and DraftKings were not immediately available for comment.

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New York attorney general orders daily fantasy sports firms to shut down – Daily fantasy sports Daily fantasy sports has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry. Bryan Armen Graham in New York

New York’s attorney general declares daily fantasy sports games illegal

DraftKings, FanDuel contend their games are based on skill and not luck

Daily fantasy sports

Photograph: Stephan Savoia/AP

New York’s attorney general has ordered daily fantasy sports firms DraftKings and FanDuel to cease operations with consumers in the state, claiming their games constitute illegal gambling under New York law – the most significant blow yet in the mounting legal challenge facing what’s become a multibillion-dollar industry.

The cease-and-desist order from the state’s top attorney was first reported on Tuesday by the New York Times, citing sources with knowledge of the investigation.

The order from attorney general Eric Schneiderman comes less than one month after it was revealed that federal prosecutor Preet Bharara – the US attorney for the southern district of New York widely credited with shutting down the online poker industry in 2011 – was investigating whether the business model behind daily fantasy sports is in violation of federal law.

“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,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Daily fantasy sports is neither victimless nor harmless, and it is clear that DraftKings and FanDuel are the leaders of a massive, multibillion-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.”

Daily fantasy sports players handpick virtual teams corresponding with real-life athletes and compete for points based on the players’ statistics. Paid competitions varying in format and waged each day cost as little as $1 to enter, but advertise prizes that can reach $2m.

Industry-leading firms DraftKings and FanDuel, each privately owned and valued at over $1bn, have long operated beyond government sanctions on sports gambling under the precept that their games involve more skill than luck, not unlike day trading.


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$1m prizes and NFL lobbying: the irresistible rise of daily fantasy leagues – Dan McQuade Tuesday 19 May 2015 06.00 EDT

Websites such as DraftKings are booming but are they showcases for skill or merely spruced up gambling tournaments?

Aaron Rodgers

A concourse under Philadelphia City Hall was recently plastered with ads featuring Peter Jennings. The Peter Jennings in the ads wasn’t the late news anchor who hosted ABC World News Tonight but a former stock trader from Fort Collins, Colorado. That Peter Jennings won big in the DraftKings daily fantasy baseball extravaganza in the Bahamas last August. Jennings, with a broad smile on his face, holds a giant novelty check for $1m above his head.

What’s interesting about the slew of ads under the City Hall is the co-sponsor: The Philadelphia Phillies. DraftKings, founded in 2011, is the “official daily fantasy partner of Major League Baseball”. FanDuel, the other major site for daily fantasy sports, has a strategic partnership with the NBA. As part of that deal, which gave the NBA an equity stake in FanDuel, the league promotes FanDuel’s daily contests on, NBA TV and its other digital properties.

Two American major league sports franchises are advertising extensively to what many say are essentially gambling sites. Due to the 1991 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, sports gambling (other than horse racing) in America is legal in just four states: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. Nevada is the only state that offers unfettered sports wagering. So how are daily fantasy sports legal? And how did major American professional sports leagues – which have traditionally had anti-gambling stances – become partners in promoting these sites? It’s complicated.

The rules of daily fantasy sports are similar to regular fantasy sports leagues. In a “season-long” fantasy league, owners — usually 8 to 14 people — acquire players in a draft or auction and manage them throughout the year. They can pick up and drop players, make trades and set lineups on a week or week or day to day basis (depending on the sport or the league).

While many early proto-fantasy leagues existed — William Gamson had one in the 1960s, New Jersey teacher Joe Blandino began one in 1976, a group of fans in the Oakland area had a football league in the early 60s – the spread of fantasy sports dates to Daniel Okrent’s Rotisserie League in 1980. Taught the game by a disciple of Gamson, Okrent and his friends founded a league at La Rotisserie Francaise in New York City. Media members learned of the league through Okrent, an editor and writer, and wrote about it during the 1981 baseball players’ strike, helping spread the word for the format.

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