New York Appeals Court Rules Daily Fantasy Sports Contests Unconstitutional

A New York State appeals court has struck down a law allowing for daily fantasy sports in the state, ruling the games to be illegal gambling.

The ruling came as part of a lawsuit from four plaintiffs – Jennifer White, Katherine West, Charlotte Wellins and Anne Remington, who said they had been harmed by gambling – against a law passed by the New York State Legislature in 2016.

The law stated that Interactive Fantasy Sports (IFS) such as those provided by FanDuel and DraftKings would not be considered gambling, which is currently illegal in New York outside of casinos, permitted state lotteries and charitable contests.

Although Justice Gerald W. Connolly of Albany County Supreme Court upheld that these games were indeed gambling, he ruled that the State of New York was within its powers to decriminalize the offering of these games in the state Penal Code. However, the plaintiffs appealed this ruling, sending the case to The Supreme Court Appellate Division’s Third Judicial Department.

The Supreme Court ruled that although the games do involve a degree of skill, the level of chance involved was significant enough to be considered gambling.

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