Judge Appears Dumbfounded by Traditional Fantasy vs. DFS Rationale

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Judge Appears Dumbfounded by Traditional Fantasy vs. DFS Rationale

What looked to be a slam dunk for the New York Attorney General’s Office in the first half of Wednesday’s hearing completely shifted in favor of the Daily Fantasy Sports industry after the one hour lunch break.

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who was not present but instead opted for six attorney’s to represent the State’s position, ordered DraftKings and FanDuel to “stop taking bets from New York residents” after he deemed the activity a form of illegal gambling.

Attorneys for the Daily Fantasy Sports sector claimed what they offer is really a “game of skill” as opposed to a “game of chance” and spent the first half of the hearing arguing their case. 

Judge Manuel Mendez only asked one question during the first half, leading some Court observers to speculate that the Attorney General's office may have had a slam dunk.

The tide changed following a one hour lunch break.

Enter FanDuel attorney, David Boies, best known as Vice President Al Gore's lead counsel in Bush vs. Gore.

He stated that the Attorney General admitted fantasy sports to be legal while insisting that Daily Fantasy Sports are not even though the two employ the same features.  He went on to claim that Daily Fantasy Sports requires even more skill than season long contests.  This notion appeared to draw the most interest from Mendez, who asked only his second question of the day.

The judge asked that state attorneys clarify the difference between regular season long fantasy sports and Daily Fantasy Sports.  The judge did appear dumbfounded as to what the difference might be and why one would be legal over the other.  An attorney for the AG’s office appeared unable to explain any distinction.

Boies said in his closing argument that FanDuel is entitled to a hearing and a fair trial before being shut down in New York.

Judge Mendez is expected to rule in the next one to two weeks. 

- Jeff Williams Reporting for Gambling911.com

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