Live Coverage on NY Hearing to Determine Fate of DraftKings, FanDuel

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Nov/25/2015

Throughout the years, Gambling911.com has been live at court hearings involving the gambling industry.  On Wednesday November 25, 2015 we were present covering a hearing to determine the operating status of Daily Fantasy Sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel in the state of New York. 

We were among the first news outlets to report that Judge Manuel Mendez would require one to two weeks to make his final decision. 

Live Coverage from NY Court on Decision to Allow DraftKings, FanDuel to Operate in State - Wednesday November 25, 2015

2:53 pm EST - Strong emphasis on why traditional season long fantasy sports is okay and Daily Fantasy Sports is not.  Judge wanted this rationale explained by State.

2:28 pm EST - FanDuel attorney, David Boies, best known as Vice President Al Gore's lead counsel in Bush vs. Gore, stated that the Attorney General admitted fantasy sports to be legal yet insists that Daily Fantasy Sports are not even though they employ the same features.  He went on to claim that Daily Fantasy Sports requires even more skill than season long contests. Read More Extensive Coverage Here

2:09 pm EST - Following a one hour lunch break, lawyers for the DFS industry raised the question that has frequently been posed by this site and our sister site DFS911.com: If seasonal fantasy sports contests are legal, along with the prizes and entry fees, than the same should hold true for Daily Fantasy Sports.

1:35 pm EST - Our reporter Williams is reporting that Major League Baseball is prepared to divest from its deal with DraftKings based on any court rulings.  Williams also noted that the judge is not commenting much.  He suggests this is typically favorable for the AG.

1 pm EST - Jam packed courtroom, hallway: "Biggest thing happening in the NYC courts today by far," suggests reporter Jeff Williams. There will be a 1 hour lunch break.

12:54 pm EST Attorneys for DraftKings and FanDuel argued that Daily Fantasy Sports is not gambling on a number of grounds including the amount of work required by players to select a roster of players and asked the Court to consider the applicable Humphrey v. Viacom case.  Read More Extensive Live Coverage

12:45 pm EST Judge Mendez commented that, while you need skill to pick the players in a Daily Fantasy Sports contests, you are also relying on someone else's skill to play the game.

12:40 pm EST Attoneys for the DFS firms highlighted three areas consistent with the “game of skill” component:  Results differentiation, replication and player improvement over time.

12:30 pm EST Six attorneys representing Schneiderman’s office were on hand presenting their arguments, most of which were highlighted here.

Among the arguments presented: The AG would not consider spelling bees a form of illegal gambling, though betting on outcome of spelling bee would be.  They also cited a case in which a Court concluded in a cigar trading contest that even educated prognostications were considered to be “guesses".

The state also argued that the element of chance comes after line ups are selected.

The state was not asking the Court to shut down DraftKings or FanDuel but rather to prevent them from operating in New York.

Reporter Jeff Williams has advised November 25 12:04 pm EST - "The Court officers showd the AG team of 6 attorneys no love by making them go through metal detectors like everyone else.  One officer tried to grant the couresty admittance that is afforded to most every NYC registered attorney."  Standing room only.  Room is now available.  Matter will now be heardbefore judge.

Reporter Jeff Williams Notes at 11:40 am EST Court Hallway is PACKED with people - "This is a big deal.  All the major media outlets are here at 71 Thomas Street.  Some 75 reporters, observers have crowded the courtroom".  We have made our way inside. 

DFS911.com Obtained Court Filings - Our sister site DFS911.com has obtained and published all applicable court filings pertaining to the New York State AG vs. FanDuel and DraftKings matter.  Find Them Here

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