LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — New York’s attorney general on Tuesday ordered the daily fantasy sports companies Draft Kings and FanDuel to stop accepting bets in the state, saying their operations amount to illegal gambling.
In a pair of letters sent to the companies, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that after a one-month investigation, his office had concluded that the daily contests are essentially games of chance, not skill.
He drew a sharp distinction between the operations of daily fantasy sports sites and traditional fantasy leagues, which he said were legal partly because they relied on months of smart play over the course of several months. Draft Kings and FanDuel contests, he wrote, are about “instant gratification” and involve no long-term strategy.
“Daily fantasy sports is neither victimless nor harmless, and 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,” Schneiderman said in a statement issued after the letters were sent.
While federal investigators are also probing the billion-dollar industry, both sites have become immensely popular in the meantime.
“It’s fun. I won $100 last week, and I really only use it for football, but sometimes hockey as well,” Draft Kings user Devin Johnson told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Serene Branson.
New York now joins the list of seven states where the sites are illegal.
Just last month, Nevada banned the sites as well.
Boston-based FanDuel said New York is just looking for publicity, while New York-based Draft Kings says it will pursue legal challenges.
A spokeswoman for California Attorney General Kamala Harris would not confirm or deny whether California is looking into daily fantasy sports operators.