Business

One Of Tech’s Biggest Companies Dragged Into Fantasy Gambling Fight

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Steve Ambrose Contributor

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a subpoena to Yahoo over its operation of a daily sports fantasy website.

The subpoena follows Schneiderman’s recent push to shut down daily sports fantasy groups in New York over concerns the groups are flaunting federal gambling statutes, unnamed sources confirmed to Reuters Nov. 18.

A representative for Yahoo told Reuters the company does not comment on legal matters, but says Yahoo is “monitoring industry trends and events closely and believe that we offer a lawful product for our daily fantasy sports users.” (RELATED: Did DraftKings Employee Use Insider Information To Win An Insane Amount of Money?)

Screen shot of Yahoo Daily Fantasy page (http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/)

Screen shot of Yahoo Daily Fantasy page (http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/)

Daily fantasy sports companies allow participants to pay an entry fee to draft teams in games played in just one day. The participants then compete against other entrants or against a group in a multi-player contest. (RELATED: DraftKings And FanDuel File Lawsuits To Stop New York Ban)

DraftKings and FanDuel, two of the most well known daily fantasy companies, were issued a preliminary injunction Nov. 17. FanDuel has stopped operations in the state, yet DraftKings continues to offer services. (RELATED: NY AG Forces DraftKings, Fan Duel To Shut Down)

In response to the injunction, DraftKings said in a statement Nov. 17:

We look forward to being afforded a full and fair opportunity to demonstrate why daily fantasy sports are legal under New York State law. We believe the Attorney General’s view of this issue is based on an incomplete understanding of the facts about how our business operates and a fundamental misinterpretation and misapplication of the law.

We remain committed to ensuring that New Yorkers retain the right to continue to play the daily fantasy sports games they love.

New York’s Constitution has prohibited bookmaking and other forms of gambling since 1894.

In the Memorandum of Law filed by Schneiderman, he wrote “a wager constitutes gambling when it depends on either a (1) “future contingent event not under [the bettor’s] control or influence” or (2) “contest of chance.”

Groups like DraftKings and Yahoo will only have to meet one of the above conditions to be considering a gambling activity.

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