ANTI-ONLINE GAMBLING GROUP SEEKS TO OVERTURN NEW YORK LEGALIZATION OF DAILY FANTASY SPORTS
Stop Predatory Gambling assists four plaintiffs in New York Supreme Court filing.
Four New York residents, aided by the anti-gambling action group Stop Predatory Gambling, have filed an action in the State Supreme Court claiming that state lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo exceeded their legal authority in legalizing daily fantasy sports in New York.
The suit claims the DFS law wrongly categories daily fantasy sports contests as games of skill, rather than chance, and therefore violates the state constitution by expanding gambling.
Jennifer White, Katherine West, Charlotte Wellins and Anne Remington, all plaintiffs who have been negatively impacted by gambling, front the suit, represented by attorney Neil Murray of law firm OConnell and Aronowitz.
"The plaintiffs seek to protect the public from predatory gambling consistent with the constitution," Murray said in a release announcing the suit. "They also intend to stop FanDuel, DraftKings and other internet gambling operators from exploiting the financially desperate and the addicted in New York."
Murray added: “It’s hilarious to think this isn’t gambling. It’s pretty simple. It’s a game that involves betting. You put up money, and you forfeit the money if you lose.”
The filing claims that state lawmakers and the governor exceeded their authority in legalizing DFS, and should have given New York voters the opportunity to decide whether New York State could legalize US online gambling through online daily fantasy sports contests.
The plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment to end DFS contests, an endeavor in which they are supported by the Stop Predatory Gambling action group.
“This law doesn’t improve the lives of New Yorkers. It wasn’t driven by a grass roots movement of citizens. It was driven by very powerful gambling interests trying to sneak internet gambling into every home and onto every smartphone in the state,’’ said Les Bernal, national director of the body and a regular campaigner against online gambling.
"We believe in improving the lives of the people of New York," he added. "Daily fantasy sports gambling is a huge rip-off for all citizens, regardless whether you gamble or not."
Bernal revealed that funding for the suit was raised from individuals and citizen groups in New York and stressed that the organization does not accept any financial contributions from gambling interests (a pre-emptive strike against possible Adelson involvement?).
The anti-gambling group Interfaith Impact has also flagged its support for the litigation, with executive director Robb Smith commenting:
"The legislature legalized internet gambling in every home, every dorm room, every place of employment and on every smartphone in New York."
The lawsuit also notes that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman declared last year that in his opinion daily fantasy sports sites were operating in violation of state gambling laws.
"We believe in improving the lives of the people of New York," Stop Predatory Gambling national director Les Bernal said in the release. "Daily fantasy sports gambling is a huge rip-off for all citizens, regardless whether you gamble or not."