The New York State attorney general has ordered that DraftKings and Fan Duel immediately stop accepting bets of New York residents because it has been determined that the games are in violation of the illegal gambling laws in the state.
“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,” Mr. Schneiderman said, adding, “Today we have sent a clear message: not in New York, and not on my watch.”
The fantasy industry was legally sanctioned in 2006 by a federal law that stated fantasy sports are a game of skill more than luck. However, with the payouts and increasing array of fantasy games the industry seems to be slipping more into illegal gambling by virtue of luck-based games.
In a statement, FanDuel said: “Fantasy sports is a game of skill and legal under New York state law. This is a politician telling hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers they are not allowed to play a game they love and share with friends, family, co-workers and players across the country.”
As the New York Times article points out, fantasy sports is now a tough game to align with for the major pro sports leagues. For example, the NFL has been strongly opposed to sports betting, even though they require injury reports and allow people on major networks and game broadcasts to discuss the lines, and found daily fantasy as being able to have the effects of sports betting without using the words “sports betting.”
The state of Nevada has also stated that daily fantasy should be considered gambling and have suspended fantasy operations in the state until they get gaming licenses.
What this means for combat sports:
Daily fantasy is the biggest way to improve fan avidity for combat sports both domestically and internationally. DraftKings and FanDuel comprised a great opportunity for combat sports, with their frequent events and straight moneyline bets, the opportunity to get exposure to many other people who otherwise would not know when fights occur or who the athletes are.
Outside of sports betting, which is illegal in 47 states although Nevada is the only state that really allows it to occur, daily fantasy was the best opportunity to create fans through economic incentives.
I really doubt that if daily fantasy is considered gambling and not a game of skill that sports betting will be legalized anytime soon. The combat sports world could be losing a huge and easy opportunity to gain new fans and increase avidity among the current fans.