“I’m pleased to announce that both FanDuel and DraftKings will stop taking bets in New York State, consistent with New York State law and the cease-and-desist orders my office issued at the outset of this matter,” a somewhat triumphant New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said today. “As I’ve said from the start, my job is to enforce the law, and starting today, DraftKings and FanDuel will abide by it,” he added. The words come after an agreement was reached with the NY AG’s office in which both online fantasy sports sites say they will halt paid contests in the Empire State while legal process takes its path.
“Effective today, as part of a settlement reached with the Attorney General’s office, DraftKings will stop offering paid daily fantasy sports contests in New York State,” DraftKings said in a statement to Deadline. “We are an industry leader in technology, innovation and consumer protections, and we are grateful to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who have enjoyed playing fantasy sports on DraftKings for the last 4 years. We will continue to work with state lawmakers to enact fantasy sports legislation so that New Yorkers can play the fantasy games they love.”
This shutdown certainly will hurt both sites’ bottom lines. Citizens of the Empire State paid more than $267 million in entry fees and revenues of $24.8 million to daily fantasy sites last year, according to industry research.
“New York is a critical state for FanDuel,” that company said today. “FanDuel is headquartered in Manhattan, where we employ more than 170 young, smart, passionate fans who are committed to innovating and providing the best fantasy experience possible. We are proud to be one of New York’s largest startup companies, and while it is disheartening for us to restrict access to paid contests in our home state, we believe this is in the best interest of our company, the fantasy industry and our players while we continue to pursue legal clarity in New York.”This all started on November 10, when Schneiderman sent cease-and-desist letters to the FanDuel and DraftKings CEOs after he determined the sites were breaking state law. With states including Nevada and Illinois having already given them the heave-ho, the sites responded by claiming they are not engaged in gambling but instead offer games of skill. Since then, as other states have contemplated legislation, FanDuel and DraftKings have been engaged in a battle of wills with Schneiderman’s office in the courts. With today’s deal, the NY AG has promised to pull back on additional court action until an appeal is heard sometime in September.
“Today’s agreement also creates an expedited path to resolve this litigation should that law change or upon a decision by the appellate division,” Schneiderman said today.