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National Anti-Gambling Group Contemplating Lawsuit Against NY Fantasy Sports Law

Stop Predatory Fantasy Sports Betting
Daily fantasy sports have no place in New York, according to Washington, D.C.-based interest group Stop Predatory Gambling.

The group, led by National Director Les Bernal, labeled New York’s gambling policies “predatory”.

Group on the hunt for plaintiffs

The Buffalo News tackled SPG’s criticism in an article earlier this week.

The newspaper said the group’s main criticism is that the judicial process did not allow enough time for a thorough investigation of the impact of legalized DFS on the state’s gamblers.

In other words, they say, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was a little quick on the trigger when he signed DFS into law earlier this month.

When asked if his organization would file a lawsuit against the bill, Bernal said SPG is searching for potential plaintiffs who are residents of the state.

Bernal added a not-so-subtle threat to those interested in investing in the six companies who are vying for DFS licenses, including FanDuel and DraftKings.

“Anyone investing in these businesses should really keep their hands in their pockets for the near future,” Bernal was quoted as saying.

If a lawsuit happens, multiple groups could be in fight

Opponents of gambling are only one part of the opposition to DFS in New York.

The Buffalo News is saying that SPG’s lawsuit talk could stir up support from casinos who opposed the original bill, as well as Indian tribes who may consider the bill as an infringement on their gambling exclusivity agreements.

The New York Gaming Association led the charge in lobbying against the DFS law, but The Buffalo News said it would not be a part of a lawsuit.

While there are other parties who have a vested interest in an attack on New York’s DFS law, Bernal has said he will not partner with those organizations if a lawsuit materializes.

Poll says New York residents didn’t want DFS

In May, New York’s Siena College published a report that said DFS faced opposition in the state.

“While Republicans, independents and downstate suburbanites are closely divided on the issue of legalizing daily fantasy sports operations in New York,” the report read, “a strong plurality of Democrats, upstaters and New York City voters oppose allowing companies such as FanDuel or DraftKings to operate in New York.”

Bill advocate Bonacic says legislation protects consumers

While there were definitely critics of the DFS bill, there were just as many outspoken advocates of the legislation.

Sen. John Bonacic was a leading supporter of the bill, and was quite vocal about his opinion of casinos and racinos who opposed it, saying there was a full-court press against the bill by racinos who previously did not say a word about fantasy sports in the state.

He also argued that the DFS regulations were necessary because illegal activities were already going on in the state, and that, “under this particular legislation, there will be more strict monitoring, and there will be more consumer protection.”

Interestingly, the state is also considering drafting legislation that would challenge the federal ban on sports betting.

J.R. Duren

About

J.R. Duren has written for a wide variety of publications, both online and print, including Snooth, the Villages Daily Sun, Besport Post, Our Amazing Norway, and Barcelona Metropolitan. He has thrice been recognized as a winner of the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest.

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